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View Full Version : I tried on most of the new AT boots today



srsosbso
11-01-2008, 06:18 PM
This probably does NOT warrrant a new thread, but there are so many threads going about the new AT boots already that it has become hard to keep track of what info is where. Maybe they could be consolidated somehow? Anyway, I don't think there is one thread that covers all of these models so I'm starting a new one. Crucify me as you see fit.

I tried on the following boots today- BD factor, BD method, Dynafit zzeus, Scarpa skookum, Garmont radium. (Yes, it is raining here. I also got the laundry done.) These are most of the big player/options for the new crop of AT boots with dynafit compatibility. I'd tried the zzeus and radium on before. For comparison, I have skied Lange race boots in the past, and, most recently, salomon gun boots. I think a flex somewhere between the langes and the guns would make for a nice soft snow boot- resort or backcountry. (I am talking about forward flex here- can't really comment on lateral stiffness as I didn't ski any of these boots today. Just a shop demo.)

1) BD method- way softer than I was expecting/hoping for. This boot is much softer than any of the others I tried today. It is softer than my salomon gun by a good margin. You'd have to really like soft boots to like these. Given the significant weight of these boots, I'm not exactly sure why you'd choose them over other equally soft but lighter options. I'll comment on fit below, as they fit just like the factors.

2) BD factor- this is an alpine ski boot with a walk mode. Very nice. I'd ski them anywhere. Stiffer than my guns, not as stiff as a lange. Maybe 110 on the proverbial scale? Smmmmooth flexing. Fabulous walk mode- good range and very free-hinging. My feet are widish in the front and narrow in the heel-and these fit my feet well. They really felt they could be fit comfortably and still perform well. The boa gizmo takes forever to crank up to tightness but felt nice.

3) Dynafit Zzeus- very similiar stiffness to the factor (and, obviously, way stiffer than the methods) but more progressive- ie. softer near the neutral point but then stiffens up a LOT as you flex forward. I preferred the BD flex, but it depends what you like. Narrower forefoot than the BD- didn't fit me as well, but to each (foot) his own (boot.) Walk mode not as great in range and not as free-moving as the BD's, and noisy (squeeky)- just the sort of thing to make you absolutely NUTS on a long skin track.

4) Scarpa Skookum- I flat out didn't like these. Huge volume around the heel/ankle, wierd feeling flex (non-overlap), and the boot lowers would bulge out to the sides if I really flexed them hard. Maybe the flex is better if the boot fits your foot, but I didn't like these at all.

5) Garmont Radium- very similiar flex to the factor and zzeus. Fit was tighter around the toes than the BD boots with equally good heel holddown, but more volume around the ankle it seemed. Of course, this is pre-liner-cooking. Noticebly lighter, even just handling them, than the factors. Walk mode similiar in range to the BD boots, but not quite as free hinging. Maybe would loosen up with time/use? No sole swap option for use with alpine binders.

Summary?

If I wanted a one pair o' boots quiver and planned to ski mostly inbounds with the occassional bit of slack-country, I'd buy the factors in a heartbeat. Honestly, this boot would be a reasonable choice for someone who doesn't tour, just for the walk mode in the lodge or liftline or schlepping from the parking lot.

I would not even consider the methods- which is a surprise because I thought I'd end up in these boots. They are only 70 grams lighter than the factors, and just too soft in my opinion. I found myself thinking, "Why would I bother with these?"

I didn't like the skookums fit or flex, but that is mostly just personal opinion.

The zzeus would be a good choice of you wanted a narrow last boot. I suspect they would ski much like the factor, though I didn't like the flex as well. I don't think they'll tour as well because the walk mode didn't seem as good. If you have the new dynafit manaslu skis you really MUST get these, because they match.

The radium is a very nice AT boot, and is a half pound lighter PER BOOT than the factor. It is very nearly as stiff. It's walk mode is nearly as good. If you don't need alpine binding compatibility, and these fit you, this is a helluva good option.

jondrums
11-01-2008, 07:11 PM
thanks for the in depth review - great to have the direct comparo

schwerty
11-01-2008, 07:19 PM
I tried on the Factors, Methods, Radiums and Zzeus today as well. You pretty much nailed it from what I can tell.

millfiger
11-01-2008, 07:24 PM
After using an Intuition liner for the last 4 years, I can say that the Factor liner just does not cut it. Plan on buying a new liner or using one of your Intuitions with the boot in my opinion. The shell itself is quality, and the walk mode is truly a walk mode.

JoeStrummer
11-01-2008, 07:37 PM
I skied the Skookums today and liked them, hard to tell from low angled manmade groomers in 40 degree air but they felt much like any other AT boot I've skied. I think anyone looking for something revolutionary in AT boots from this years crop is drinking the marketing Koolaid.

srsosbso
11-01-2008, 07:54 PM
I skied the Skookums today... I think anyone looking for something revolutionary in AT boots from this years crop is drinking the marketing Koolaid.

That was my feeling just in the shop today with the skookum- that they felt like an AT boot, which is not what I am looking for. Though I didn't ski them, everything else I had on today felt very close to an alpine boot. I suspect it's the overlap shell.

Wetdog
11-01-2008, 08:21 PM
Nice review srsosbso. I posted in the Factor vs Radium thread, page three, my thoughts on the same boots. Similar conclusions to you, but I actually really liked the Skookums, apart from lower buckles. I must have just a little wider forefoot than you because, while I felt like I have too much room in the Spirit 4, the Skookum was just about right, with the Zzeus and Radium being too tight in the toebox.

The one boot I was not able to try was the Method. I too thought that might be the ticket for me, but your observations are interesting concerning its soft flex. The factors were really great, though heavier than what I am looking for, but they could easily replace my alpine boots. They felt a bit like a Lange in terms of fit and flex and I would grab a pair if I didn't already have that field covered with my Endorphins.

Joe Strummer, after skiing the Skookum would you recommend it? It is my front runner for a Dynafit AT boot. Some reviews have criticized its lateral stiffness on firmer surfaces which isn't as much of a concern to me as I would probably mostly be skiing it in soft snow, but as you mentioned you were skiing groomers in it, I thought I would ask.

shredgnar
11-02-2008, 07:44 AM
Anyone tried the Technica AT boots yet? Just curious....

AKbruin
11-02-2008, 08:14 AM
Anyone tried the Technica AT boots yet? Just curious....

I have. It has a very low cuff and is pretty damn soft. I wouldn't use them to drive a big ski. The fit is closer to Garmont (snug) than Scarpa (roomy).

deeppo
11-02-2008, 08:30 AM
Just wondering what size foot and boots you tried. I find scarpa runs almost a full size larger then garmont(at least in the past)
deeppo

srsosbso
11-02-2008, 08:33 AM
Radium, Factor, Method, Zzeus- all 26
Scarpa- 25.5. Length okay, swimming in the volume. When I did the shell-only length test, I swear I could have done a '3' (as my sons would say) INSIDE the boot.

StroupSkier
11-02-2008, 08:37 AM
How does the ZZues fit compare to the ZZero4?

stuckathuntermtn
11-02-2008, 08:40 AM
would you say the zzues is like a 98mm last, a la the guns?

JoeStrummer
11-02-2008, 09:10 AM
I think the Skookum is a well-made boot, as it should be for $700. None of the new AT boots are up there with the wheel, fire, or polio vaccine. If you already have AT boots I don't see a compelling reason to update unless you are a gear whore, like me. If you are new to AT boots I think the choices are great.

Deeppo - I am a street shoe 30, a Garmont Megaride 29, and a Skookum 28. The Skookum 28 required some moderate liner work but no shell punching or anything funky.

Wetdog - As I said, if you already have AT boots I don't know if it's worth 6 or 7 bills. I tried to edge really hard, make the boot drive the turn, etc. They felt fine but not significantly better than Megarides. As I said, my testing was fairly limited, if we get any snow this week I might hike a 14er and give you my impressions on the "touring" phase of AT.

Cheesestoff
11-02-2008, 09:14 AM
when you compared tour mode, did you have the upper buckles undone? I tried all the overlap boots on a few months ago and found the walk modes all very similar with the upper buckles undone (which i do everytime anyway). The factor was actually the worst of the three as the upper shell won't rotate behind vertical.

wilcox510
11-02-2008, 09:22 AM
I think the Zzeus are actually pretty wide, much wider than any of the Garmont boots (i'd say a lot wider than 98mm). Regarding the fit of the Skookum, I'm pretty sure the lower shell of the Skookumi s identical to the Spirit 4, it's just that it comes with the shim to go under the liner to take up room.

StroupSkier
11-02-2008, 09:25 AM
The ZZero4 is wider than the Garmont boots, but I don't know about the ZZues. I would think they would be made from the same last, but i can't find one to try on.

I can't get my foot in a Garmont.

marshalolson
11-02-2008, 09:32 AM
Anyone tried the Technica AT boots yet? Just curious....

the current technica at boot is a rebadged lowa: check around about the rodeo and evo... lots of info on the website. low and soft boots. not for the hard charger. think ski mountaineering.

rumor mill on a new technica at boot for next season though.

srsosbso
11-02-2008, 09:38 AM
Stroup- I haven't tried the zzero, so I can't help with the fit comparison.

Stuck- The zzeus were narrower in the forefoot than my guns, but of course the guns have been cooked.

cheese- I had the buckles done up in tour mode. I thought the factors were great, the radiums good, the zzeus okay.

I gotta respectfully disagree with Joe about the new AT boots. I have hated every AT boot I've ever put on, because I hate the way they flex, and so I have either tele'd or suffered with alpine boots. Part of the reason I wen from Langes to Guns was to make the touring tolerable. Though I haven't skied any of them yet, my impression is that these overlap AT boots will ski like alpine boots but have a walk mode and dynafit compatibility, and that's why I'll be buying a pair of one of 'em.

Wetdog
11-02-2008, 03:25 PM
Just wondering what size foot and boots you tried. I find scarpa runs almost a full size larger then garmont(at least in the past)
deeppo

Scarpas seem larger width wise, but length is the same. I'm the same shell size in a Garmont as a Scarpa, yet to get the fit in the fore foot with the Garmont, I have to go up a shell size, which make it too long and my heel slides around.

BurnHard
11-02-2008, 04:02 PM
I skied the Skookums today and liked them, hard to tell from low angled manmade groomers in 40 degree air but they felt much like any other AT boot I've skied. I think anyone looking for something revolutionary in AT boots from this years crop is drinking the marketing Koolaid.

Damnit. You trying to kill my anticipation???

Like I said in another thread, I tried the Skookums on and they were significantly different (better) than any previously used AT boot (specifically, Denali TT). However, I haven't skied them yet ... I really hope they ski as well as they fit me. I'm hoping for a much stiffer boot than the Denali TT, more comfortable, walk mode & sole as good as the Denali, plus Dynafit inserts... Is that too much to ask???? ;)

Gonna have to try the BD Factor, seems to be *THE* boot of the year. Hopefully Larry carries that one.

JoeStrummer
11-02-2008, 04:32 PM
Srsbsoso - I've never skied in alpine boots so I can only imagine that most AT boots seem deficient. Ignorance is bliss, in my case.

Bernardo - I think the Skookum is a great boot but it's more evolutionary than revolutionary. I thought the same about the ZZeus, haven't skied an Axon, haven't tried any of the BD boots because I have a weird hangup about Chinese ski boots. I like to imagine my ski boots are all made by Gepetto types in the Italian mountains. And I'll have some more ski time on both the ZZeus and Skookum later this week so can toss in another two cents at that point.

jrosendahl
11-02-2008, 05:38 PM
Tried the factor today,
I felt like it had poor contact with all but the top of my shin, and most importantly the walk mode (while awesome going forward) does not go back far enough to stand up strait. I can't imagine loosing that ability since I am old and out of shape and need to stand around and rest alot. That and really the boa thing sucked. Damn shame really since I really liked the fit.

Hopefully the zzueus will be better.

BurnHard
11-02-2008, 06:56 PM
Srsbsoso - I've never skied in alpine boots so I can only imagine that most AT boots seem deficient. Ignorance is bliss, in my case.

Bernardo - I think the Skookum is a great boot but it's more evolutionary than revolutionary. I thought the same about the ZZeus, haven't skied an Axon, haven't tried any of the BD boots because I have a weird hangup about Chinese ski boots. I like to imagine my ski boots are all made by Gepetto types in the Italian mountains. And I'll have some more ski time on both the ZZeus and Skookum later this week so can toss in another two cents at that point.

FKNA @ Geppetto! :D
Will look forward to another review from you on the ZZeus and Skookums.

pjt
11-02-2008, 08:18 PM
Another perspective...
I tried on (but have not yet skied) most of the boots mentioned by the original poster. I have a wider forefoot and narrow bony heel and wear 11.5/12 street shoes. I have been skiing Scarpa Denali TTs and Lasers for the past 3 seasons in a size 28 (with a fairly thick Superfeet Kork footbed). The Spirit 4 would be my safe purchase since I find it similar to the Denali in fit but I'm intrigued by the new alpine overlap style AT boots and I'm a bit tired of the Scarpa ratchet style buckles. I'll be skiing these inbounds and winter touring. I usually tour with the cuff buckles unbuckled. I found:

Radium... I wanted these to fit. Nice design. I like the upper buckle locking catches or whatever you call them. I like that you can take all the hardware off with a hex key for repairs and replacement. Decent forward flex stiffness for what I'm looking for. Walk mode was nice with the cuff unbuckled. But way too narrow around the toes and the heel pocket was too wide regardless of what I think thermofitting or shell grinding/punching could accomplish. I tried different liners in it and could not make it work.

Factor... Stiffest forward flex of the lot from what I could tell. Walk mode was great flexing forward but unfortunately stops at vertical going backward. This boot had the freest walk mode with the buckles buckled at least flexing forward but I would still tour with them unbuckled for the freest motion possible. Wider toe box and nice narrow heel which works well for me. Top buckles would come down a little too hard over my foot though and the Boa liner is a solution to a problem I don't have... seems unnecessary and a little annoying. Definitely the heaviest of the bunch which is a turn off to me.

Method... similar fit to the Factor. Noticeable softer. Same Boa liner as the Factor, still on the heavier side, and fit issues over the top of my foot.

Scarpa Typhoon... I would want the Skookum but the shop only carries the Typhoon. Assuming the fit is similar, which I don't know for sure, I found the lower to feel similar to the Spirit 4 which is to say higher volume which would work for me. But with the upper cuff, I found concentrated pressure on both my lower shins - too much so - despite changing footbed thicknesses or liners from other boots to adjust height. Buckles are ok but the other boots listed here seem to have nicer hardware. Walk mode was ok. Overall just not into the boot despite being a long time Scarpa fan with my current AT boots and my tele boots.

Zzeus... narrowish toe box but not as narrow as the Radium. Nice heel pocket for my foot. Flex a little softer than the Factors perhaps but stiffer than the Methods, maybe similar to the Radiums in my opinion. It will be interesting to see how the boot flexes in the cold since its made of PU plastic. I found the walk mode, at least in terms of range of motion fore to aft, to be the best. Yeah not as, I don't know, soft feeling going forward as the Factor, but wider range of motion back to front. I could really articulate my ankle. Maybe drive my car in these it seems. I would tour in these with the cuff buckles opened. Weight-wise, lighter than the Method and heavier than the Radium. This boot seems to fit me the best out of the overlap styles. What sold me was sticking a Scarpa Intuition liner in it and favorably noticing how much more room I had in the forefoot so I know what is possible in the fit (I also tried this with all the other boots but it was most favorably noticeable with the Zzeus). I think the Zzeus liner is thicker, narrower and lower volume than the Intutions though definitely a stouter liner. Anyway, the Intuition liner felt great in the Zzeus to me. And, at least according to Lou Dawson's scales and my suspect math, sticking an Intuition liner in the Zzeus puts it at about the same weight as the Scarpa Spirit 4 which is a benchmark weight for what I'm looking for for an inbounds and bc AT boot.

So I bought the Zzeus. Size 27.5. Yeah a 'peformance fit' for sure given my 11.5/12 feet but I think it will be nice once I get things dialed. The next size up, 28, put me in a bigger shell and it would be too big.

Hope that all helps.

edited to add touring buckle details.

Jonathan S.
11-02-2008, 09:19 PM
Question for those of you trying on these boots (the answer to which might help clarify the reviews): when you comment on the walk/tour mode's fore/aft range and/or relative lack of resistance, are you testing this with the two upper cuff buckles open or closed?
(Perhaps the answer might seem obvious, but some people keep the upper cuff buckles entirely undone when skinning, some keep them closed entirely -- often b/c of blister issues otherwise -- and others split the difference using the little latches on some models.)
Anyway, nice to see all the detailed feedback on so many new models -- for those who are willing to heft another pound or so per pair (above the typical ~7+ weight in a target sz 27 for more all-around boots) in return for better skiing performance, this is certainly an overwhelming year for boot innovation!

jrosendahl
11-02-2008, 09:25 PM
for the Factor the aft range is unaffected by the buckles, the boot stops on the walk mechanism, the forward motion is buttery smooth with the buckles buckled.

verbier61
11-03-2008, 01:46 AM
the current technica at boot is a rebadged lowa: check around about the rodeo and evo... lots of info on the website. low and soft boots. not for the hard charger. think ski mountaineering.

rumor mill on a new technica at boot for next season though.

right, the new technica is a lowa, but AFAIK it has nothing to do with the old lowa rodeo, the new lowa is an overlap, the old rodeo was not.....

awf170
11-03-2008, 06:08 AM
Question for those of you trying on these boots (the answer to which might help clarify the reviews): when you comment on the walk/tour mode's fore/aft range and/or relative lack of resistance, are you testing this with the two upper cuff buckles open or closed?
(Perhaps the answer might seem obvious, but some people keep the upper cuff buckles entirely undone when skinning, some keep them closed entirely -- often b/c of blister issues otherwise -- and others split the difference using the little latches on some models.)
Anyway, nice to see all the detailed feedback on so many new models -- for those who are willing to heft another pound or so per pair (above the typical ~7+ weight in a target sz 27 for more all-around boots) in return for better skiing performance, this is certainly an overwhelming year for boot innovation!


Got to stay unbuckled in the Radium. Unbuckled it has a better walk mode then Mega-ride, when buckled it is way worse. This sort of annoys me since I usually buckled my mega-rides because of blisters. The liner does lace up though, so that might resolve this problem.

millfiger
11-03-2008, 07:59 AM
Thought I would point out:

Skookum is the Dynafit compatible version of the Typhoon, same fit - same pretty much everything.

The Tornado, Spirit 4, Typhoon, and Skookum all share the same lower last.

Maybe this will help someone figure something out.

PappaG
11-03-2008, 08:22 AM
I'm probably the last person to give an AT boot review given that this was my first such purchase, but I've put on >40k downhill vert on the Typhoon in the last week and am very pleased so far.

Equal time has been split amongst skis with waists of 96mm, 112, and 136. My boot for all of last year was the Technica Vento 10 which has a flex rating of 95. Conditions were varying from decent early season snow to icy to very spring-like. Downhill performance has been more than adequate, and I will most likely wear these everyday. While skiing hard on pretty crappy snow, I didn't feel all that uncomfortable or unstable and not being able to drive the skis was a non-issue.

Jordo
11-03-2008, 10:01 AM
Thought I would point out:

Skookum is the Dynafit compatible version of the Typhoon, same fit - same pretty much everything.

The Tornado, Spirit 4, Typhoon, and Skookum all share the same lower last.



No, they don't. They don't even look similar :confused:

Tornado and Typhoon are the same lower lasts, Skookum and Spirit 4 are the same.

Tornado and Spirit 4 have the same UPPER CUFF -- Typhoon, Hurricane, and Skookum have the same ribbed UPPER CUFF.

Perhaps they feel similar on your foot, but they are very different. Scarpa has two lower lasts and two cuff designs for those four boots, and each of those four boots is a different combo of those two elements.

srsosbso
11-03-2008, 10:46 AM
Clarification as requested- I tried the walk modes with buckles done up. Factor- free hinging, Radium- similiar but stiffer, Zzeus- stiffish and noisy. At least the ones I tried.

A buddy just lent me the september issue of Backcountry magazine and it has reviews of all these boots. They are actually very similiar to the general impressions on here.

srsosbso
11-03-2008, 10:49 AM
So I bought the Zzeus. Size 27.5. Yeah a 'peformance fit' for sure given my 11.5/12 feet...

Wow. I mean, wow. I have a size 8- 8 1/2 and I was trying on a 26, considering giving a 25.5 a go if they got it in. By comparison with you, I should be in a 24. I can't even imagine getting a 24 on to my foot.

khyber.pass
11-03-2008, 01:51 PM
Geezus, I wrote a whole review comparing Radiums to Skookums only to have it disappear.

Here's the redux version. For a narrow fit, I found the Radiums to dial in. Both have too much volume in upper forefoot. Bony ankles beware on the Scarpa. Also shinbangers beware on Scarpa's tongue. And the walk/ride mechanism on the Skookum is poorly designed compared to the Spirit 4 (MEC staff already reported issues with it). Scarpa edges forward on the flex compared to the Radium, but the tongue is painful compared to the Radium. I also couldn't get Scarpa's buckles tight enough for the shell length necessary, which just signals a poor fit. Overall I prefer the wrap-around design of the Radium. In short, they are a comparable boot: buy what fits. That said, I'll be waiting until prices drop and the ski-tested reviews come in.

Thx for everyone's advice and reports so far, it's been great & helpful.

khyber.pass
11-03-2008, 01:53 PM
Oh: what I forgot to mention: I've got a pair of the new Salomon Ghosts I'll be testing as a sidecountry set-up this year. I find they're an interesting answer for those riding a Duke set-up who want a boot capable of switch & stomp and yet have a few AT features, such as a grip mid-sole and a buckle system designed to allow a semi-touring mode.

LeeLau
11-03-2008, 02:00 PM
KP - Im interested in what MEC staff reported as issues with the Skookum walk mode?

Jordo
11-03-2008, 02:07 PM
Also shinbangers beware on Scarpa's tongue. And the walk/ride mechanism on the Skookum is poorly designed compared to the Spirit 4 (MEC staff already reported issues with it). Scarpa edges forward on the flex compared to the Radium, but the tongue is painful compared to the Radium.

I am guessing that Scapra is selling the Skookums with the stiff tongue already in, and maybe the hinged tongue separate in the box? Don't think many people are going to want to tour with the stiff tongue. It's a nice option if you're stuck riding lifts with your touring gear, but it's pretty murderous on long tours.

LeeLau
11-03-2008, 02:14 PM
The two Skookums I've seen in store both had the orange tongue mounted and the black tongue in-box. I do agree the stiff tongue was crazy stiff.

pjt
11-03-2008, 02:20 PM
Wow. I mean, wow. I have a size 8- 8 1/2 and I was trying on a 26, considering giving a 25.5 a go if they got it in. By comparison with you, I should be in a 24. I can't even imagine getting a 24 on to my foot.

Yeah I know, that is what I thought and I debated this back and forth trying the boots on over and over. But the 28 shell was feeling too big; too comfortable in the shop. Shell-wise the 27/27.5 shell was a snug one finger fit. The 28 shell was a roomier 2 finger fit. No doubt the stock Zzeus liner is tight and will require some work/breaking in/modification/tears and suffering. If I stick an Intuition in there I have a snug but more comfortable fit. New lower volume footbeds will help keep my foot from collapsing as well and perhaps eventually a little shell mod around the 6th toe area.

For the other boots I tried on I was generally a 27.5 as well. If I were to buy another Scarpa I would probably end up in a 27 shell instead of the 28 which I have now.

millfiger
11-03-2008, 05:21 PM
No, they don't. They don't even look similar :confused:

Tornado and Typhoon are the same lower lasts, Skookum and Spirit 4 are the same.

Tornado and Spirit 4 have the same UPPER CUFF -- Typhoon, Hurricane, and Skookum have the same ribbed UPPER CUFF.

Perhaps they feel similar on your foot, but they are very different. Scarpa has two lower lasts and two cuff designs for those four boots, and each of those four boots is a different combo of those two elements.


Yeah, I messed that up - "last" is not the word I was looking for. I meant to refer only to the FIT of the lower shell, I deduced that they are the same since a Scarpa employee told me a Typhoon fit the same as a Skookum. Perhaps they did not mean to infer that both boots fit the SAME (but rather similarly) regarding the INNARDS of the lower shell.

Yes, they obviously look nothing alike from the outside. :)

Any feedback on the actual fit difference from the Dynafit last to the AT/Alpine lower would be most radical.

khyber.pass
11-03-2008, 05:25 PM
KP - Im interested in what MEC staff reported as issues with the Skookum walk mode?

The little flip-buckle on the back was susceptible to breaking down & snapping. It feels pretty weak. Others have reported this too, in fact someone posted a lengthy blog review on a previous thread (LeeLau?) that mentioned it. Have to search for it..

khyber.pass
11-03-2008, 05:29 PM
I am guessing that Scapra is selling the Skookums with the stiff tongue already in, and maybe the hinged tongue separate in the box? Don't think many people are going to want to tour with the stiff tongue. It's a nice option if you're stuck riding lifts with your touring gear, but it's pretty murderous on long tours.

Exactly. I had the orange tongue in one foot, black tongue in the other. Unlike previous years, the black tongue is the new stiffie. Thing is, if you want the boot to perform towards a backcountry charger, you need that stiff tongue. Otherwise the boot gets way more flexy. So for me it's design -- I prefer the Radium wrap-around as I'm susceptible to shinbang. But if you're not or can get away with a flexier boot and fit Scarpa then it's all good.

Point being that 'touring' means different things here in the reviews, some people doing hut-to-hut where comfort, flex & weight are more important, others looking for a downhill boot that flip into walk mode. The balance is being sought in the Radium/Skookum, which is where, I think, a lot of people want to be, and why there are so many opinions on the models.

NorthernSpotted...
11-13-2008, 01:38 PM
Thanks for all the reviews/opinions/info guys.

I'm about to do something that pretty much goes against everything I know to be smart. That something is ordering ski boots online without trying them on first. Unfortunately, though, time is running out on a coupon code and I don't live anywhere near a shop that sells AT boots so I don't have much choice. I figure the worst case scenario is that I'll have to do an exchange/return and eat some shipping costs. However, it'd be nice to avoid that, so I'm seeking advice before I pull the trigger.

Based on everything I've read here and in other threads, it sounds to me like the Zzeus matches my foot shape. The remaining question is, what size should I get???


Radium, Factor, Method, Zzeus- all 26
Scarpa- 25.5. Length okay, swimming in the volume. When I did the shell-only length test, I swear I could have done a '3' (as my sons would say) INSIDE the boot.

srsosbso, what size street shoe do you wear? My alpine boots are Lange Comp 120s in a 26.0 and my street shoes are 9. Is that what you wear? If so, would say there's a decent chance I'd be safe ordering a pair of Zzeus's's's in a 26.0?

To anyone who would say, "Don't be a retard. Try a bunch of boots on and pick the one that fits best. You'll save money on bootfitting in the end." You might be right, but I can't resist a shot in the dark to try to save some dough.

Thanks again.

JoeStrummer
11-13-2008, 01:52 PM
To anyone who would say, "Don't be a retard. Try a bunch of boots on and pick the one that fits best. You'll save money on bootfitting in the end." You might be right, but I can't resist a shot in the dark to try to save some dough.
Thanks again.

Worth a shot, I had 5 pairs of AT boots in my house a few weeks ago and really couldn't make any of them work perfectly. But I got such a deal on them that even with some shipping phuckery it made the 2 week trial period worth it and I got to play around with a lot of different ideas at my leisure.

Based on my experience with the ZZeus, I could make a 30 work for my 30-ish EE foot. A 29 would not have worked, although I ski 29s in everything else (Garmonts, Skookum, even the ZZero.)

NorthernSpotted...
11-13-2008, 02:02 PM
Worth a shot, I had 5 pairs of AT boots in my house a few weeks ago and really couldn't make any of them work perfectly. But I got such a deal on them that even with some shipping phuckery it made the 2 week trial period worth it and I got to play around with a lot of different ideas at my leisure.

Based on my experience with the ZZeus, I could make a 30 work for my 30-ish EE foot. A 29 would not have worked, although I ski 29s in everything else (Garmonts, Skookum, even the ZZero.)

Thanks. My forefoot is narrow, but only just slightly, so maybe the best approach is to go ahead and order a 25.5 and 26.0 and see.

BurnHard
11-13-2008, 02:45 PM
Sorry if it's been posted: How do the Radiums compare to the Skookum in stiffness?

srsosbso
11-13-2008, 03:21 PM
srsosbso, what size street shoe do you wear? My alpine boots are Lange Comp 120s in a 26.0 and my street shoes are 9. Is that what you wear? If so, would say there's a decent chance I'd be safe ordering a pair of Zzeus's's's in a 26.0?

PM sent- however, for general use,
street shoe 8-8 1/2/40.5-41
zzeus/factor/radium- likely 25.5 though I only got to try 26.

srsosbso
11-13-2008, 03:22 PM
I had 5 pairs of AT boots in my house a few weeks ago...

No wonder nobody has boots in stock. They're all at Joe's house!

LeeLau
11-13-2008, 05:45 PM
The little flip-buckle on the back was susceptible to breaking down & snapping. It feels pretty weak. Others have reported this too, in fact someone posted a lengthy blog review on a previous thread (LeeLau?) that mentioned it. Have to search for it..

I said this in my review but about the buckles

Some quibbles: The catches on which the Skookum’s buckles engage are prone to icing up. A well - placed prod with a ski pole solves that. The Skookum buckles are difficult to engage, particularly when using the stiff alpine tongue. Perhaps some camming mechanism could be designed into the buckles?

I didn't say anything about the walk mode potential for breakage. The walk mode buckle on Skookum is like the walk mode lever on almost every AT boot except for the Scarpa Spirit 4 and 3 and later Denalis

This walk mode buckle can be prone to flip up into walk mode from ski mode if you're plunge stepping in deep snow while in ski mode. But that's a design issue common to most boots.

Given that the advice came from MEC and given the inconsistency of their ski -techs (some are very good, many are very bad) and given that I highly doubt that any of them have come in contact with people who've had time on snow with Skookum, I'd have to say that is a big pile of horse bollocks.

Jonathan S.
11-28-2008, 07:10 AM
right, the new technica is a lowa, but AFAIK it has nothing to do with the old lowa rodeo, the new lowa is an overlap, the old rodeo was not.....

The "Technica" "Agent" AT boot is just the Lowa X-Alp with Agent color scheme.

Jonathan S.
11-28-2008, 07:16 AM
The factor was actually the worst of the three as the upper shell won't rotate behind vertical.

Tried the factor today,
I felt like it had poor contact with all but the top of my shin, and most importantly the walk mode (while awesome going forward) does not go back far enough to stand up strait.

Factor... Stiffest forward flex of the lot from what I could tell. Walk mode was great flexing forward but unfortunately stops at vertical going backward
I’d say stopping at vertical is a generous assessment – not even sure it gets that far. Lining up the Radium vs Method & Factor shells in walk mode with the liners removed was an astonishing contrast. What a shame that the otherwise well-designed Factor and Method are pretty much unsuitable for any serious skinning because of a poorly positioned walk/ski switch.

snoop
11-28-2008, 11:16 AM
I just read all of your post commenting on the walk mode of the methods and factors. I can see people that would like a little more rearward movement for long strides on shallow terrain but to call their walk modes "pretty much unsuitable for any serious skining" is so far from the truth. I've got quite a few miles and vertical in my factors and they are more than capable and I prefer their walk mode to my megarides.

Jonathan S.
11-28-2008, 04:09 PM
I've got quite a few miles and vertical in my factors and they are more than capable and I prefer their walk mode to my megarides.
Hmm, interesting comparison. One question: do you skin with the upper cuff buckles and velcro strap (or retrofitted Booster strap if that's the case) closed or open (or partially latched or . . . )?
I suspect that differing perceptions might stem from different habits in this regard. That is, for those who skin with everything still all buckled up, other aspects might trump the maximum physical rearward cuff movement?

snoop
11-29-2008, 12:32 AM
I pretty much set both my megaride and factor up the same way for climbing which is booster strap loose and buckles loose on the extensions(not sure the technical term for that latch at end of buckle). I find that you have to do this on the megaride or they suck and the factor I personally find they work better this way as well. It's strange because the cuff still moves a ton with the buckles closed and booster strap tight but I think with such a tall cuff/liner it feels constricted. This may be because I have fairly short legs. The tall liner has been one thing I haven't been stoked on but again I think it's my short tib/fib. I think I'm going to try a intuition.

srsosbso
11-29-2008, 10:18 AM
Somebody pretty much summed this up somewhere else, but it depends where you tour. I do virtually zero flat touring (one local exception) so for me, going past vertical is absolutely irrelevant. For others, with long flat glacier approaches, or people going up the asulkan at roger's pass every other day, it might be critical.

Jonathan S.
11-29-2008, 10:40 AM
Somebody pretty much summed this up somewhere else[...]
I thought your own summary quoted below (from another thread) was very helpful:

Flat approaches=factor/method worse than average (doesn't go past vertical)
Steep approaches=factor/method better than average (moves free, no need to open buckles)

Done.

srsosbso
11-29-2008, 05:28 PM
So, I tried on most of the new AT boots today. Yep, again. I am a shitty, indecisive shopper.

I tried the radium, factor and zzeus again, all in smaller sizes than previous.

The radium, even in a 25 WOMEN'S, though tight as hell in the toes, felt sloppy in the ankle. Apparently my feet are more girly than a girls. I still found the walk mode stiff. I found they needed to be very tight in the top two buckles and strap to flex properly. I pushed them hard (well, for in the shop) and see that powdherb is right, the lowers do bulge out when you drive the upper hard.

I tried the BD in the next shell size down and barely could squeeze a finger in behind my heel- seemed like a fairly big drop in shell length from the 26 to the 25/25.5 shell. I did note the restricted rearward movement in the shell in walk mode with the liners out, but to my mind, with the liners in, there wasn't a ton of difference between the factor and the zzeus or radium. In ski mode, the factor seemed stiffer this time than either of the other boots- not by a ton, but some.

I wasn't thrilled with the zzeus before in a 26, seemed too tight in the forefoot thought loose in the back. Decided to try the 25.5 just case, and the forefoot was no worse than the 26, though the heel and ankle were definitely better. I was way more impressed with the zzeus this time. I guess the lesson there is not to draw any conclusions in trying a boot in the wrong size.

I still found the zzeus noisy in the shop in walk mode- squeek, squeek, squeek. Would love to hear from anyone who has toured in these and see if it happens in the real world. I also wondered about working that little ski/walk switch with gloves on.

I plan to make a decision on these in time for the spring sales...

Jonathan S.
11-29-2008, 06:00 PM
I also wondered about working that little ski/walk switch with gloves on.
If the Zzeus switch and surrounding recessed housing are exactly the same as the Zzero, then I've found it very easy to work (at least for me), since you don't really need to grab onto it, but rather just push the switch's protrusion (whether up into walk mode or down into ski mode).
Looking at the Zzeus pics, the switch and recessed housing are certainly at least *similar* to the Zzero, but I don't know whether they are identical (especially with regard to the critical extent that the switch protrudes beyond its recessed housing).

LeeLau
11-29-2008, 08:03 PM
The ZZeus switch isnt a problem with gloves on. The ZZeus didn't noticeably squeak when touring

srsosbso
11-30-2008, 10:34 AM
Thanks lee. I shoulda just asked you in the first place. I forgot you had reviewed these for Lou.

One thing I learned yesterday that I should have mentioned re: the BD factors. Though it is true that the heelpiece has screws that go into plastic, they go from boot shell into heel block. And so, even if they stripped, its just a heel block replacement (warranty or cheap) and not a boot shell write-off.

Meathelmet
11-30-2008, 11:04 AM
I suspect that differing perceptions might stem from different habits in this regard. That is, for those who skin with everything still all buckled up, other aspects might trump the maximum physical rearward cuff movement?


Or could it be because some has actually toured with the said boots instead of armchairquarterbacking from the comforts of the livingroom?

Jonathan S.
11-30-2008, 01:24 PM
Or could it be because some has actually toured with the said boots instead of armchairquarterbacking from the comforts of the livingroom?
Given that I found the tour mode to be inefficient for me just walking around in the shop, I am very confident that given my skinning style (i.e., longer strides) I would find them inefficient for actual touring.
However, to reiterate my prior points, given that some skiers like to keep the upper cuff totally or partially closed when touring, and given that some skiers tend to use higher heel elevator positions than I do, hence my conclusion that personal preference plays a big role in perceptions of the BD walk mode.

duffski
11-30-2008, 05:59 PM
i think jonathan would have a more legitimate beef about walk mode if he'd actually used the factors outside on snow because i'm not sure simulating skinning on a flat carpeted floor is a very good indicator of how the boot performs on snow where you never get a perfectly flat surface for very long and your gliding a lot more.
the boots have a forward lean adjustment on the walk mode switch allowing adjustment from 14 to 22 degrees. it is set in the middle to 18 degrees out of the box. the adjustment requires the turning of 2 screws with an allen (hex) wrench. so obviously if you set it to 22 degrees you would get an extra 4 degrees of range in walk mode, albeit on the forward side. but if you like lower degree forward lean when locked in ski mode you would need to constantly change the lean going up and coming down which would be a bit of a pain.
in contrast, the backward lean is fixed using a metal bit that stops the cuff from rotating back any further than that set point. it would be interesting to know what degree this is set at which i don't see in the tech manual. i wonder why this is not adjustable as well, it seems easy to implement and would add very little weight to the boot. i guess you could cut some of the cuff out so that it rotates back a little further which wouldn't be too hard to do using either a file or knife....but once done it can never be reverted back to original.

Jonathan S.
11-30-2008, 06:11 PM
i guess you could cut some of the cuff out so that it rotates back a little further which wouldn't be too hard to do using either a file or knife....but once done it can never be reverted back to original.

Shown here:
http://www.tetonat.com/archives/607/fitting-and-modifications-to-the-black-diamond-factor/

(As for my personal reaction to the walk mode, given that I skin with the upper cuff buckles and power strap completely undone, minimize the use of the heel elevator, and try to maintain a long stride length, based on my indoor use of the Factor/Method I am 100% confident that in the field I would find the rearward travel to be awkward for my personal preferences . . . but I am also now 100% confident that many other skiers will find it to be perfectly fine for their personal preferences. In other words, were I to skin with it, my conclusions would remain the same, yet also remain not necessarily universally applicable to all skiers.)

srsosbso
12-01-2008, 06:29 PM
I finally got into a shop that had all three models I've been looking at (factor, zzeus, and radium) in one location so I could do the left-foot-factor/right-foot-radium sort of comparison. Ya, finally.

so...

1) the radium is just too sloppy in the heel/ankle for me, even in a 25 (I should be a 25.5, I think) while being extremely tight in the forefoot. This blows, because I hoped this boot would work for me. I just don't want to deal with heel lift.

2) The factor is tighter in the heel and wider in the forefoot than any of them. I could tolerate a size 25 for a good 45 minutes, and I think the 25.5 will be money, even without baking the liner. The zzeus wasn't a whole lot different- maybe alittle tighter in the toes, just as good in the heel.

3) The factor might be a LITTLE stiffer than the zzeus. However, the zzeus is PU plastic vs. pebax, and so SHOULD stiffen more in the cold. I was about to add some zzeus' to cart when...

4) I noticed new this time- that the zzeus has a fair bit of BACKWARDS play in ski mode- the kind of thing that would suck if you got thrown into the back seat a little. This was actually quite noticeable, and I guess I just hadn't checked for it before (you know, just flexing forwards in the shop.) I think it is a design issue- I reread Lee's wildsnow writeup and see that the zzeus uses stops, which means it flexes pretty freely before hitting the stops and, it turns out, away from them.

5) The factor has the most alpine boot like flex, for sure.

6) I could see the limit on backward flex of the factor with just the shell, but with liners in and the boots on, I couldn't sense any difference between the three boots.

7) All the sole-changing screws on the zzeus screw into plastic, and from sole to shell.

So, unfortunately, I seem to be heading towards the heaviest boot, the factors, which weigh about the same as my current alpine boots! Just my luck. I guess I've ended up with what I wanted- alpine boots with a walk mode and dynafit compatibility, so I shouldn't bitch.

JoeStrummer
12-01-2008, 07:06 PM
So, unfortunately, I seem to be heading towards the heaviest boot, the factors, which weigh about the same as my current alpine boots! Just my luck. I guess I've ended up with what I wanted- alpine boots with a walk mode and dynafit compatibility, so I shouldn't bitch.

Better hurry or the new 2010 boots will be out and then you'll be back to square one!

srsosbso
12-01-2008, 07:29 PM
ha! :-)

kidwoo
12-03-2008, 06:51 PM
Went and tried on the zeus, radium and factor this afternoon.

Pretty much echo what's already been said.

zeus: loud and squeaky, pretty soft, way too much rearward movement, bottom got all weird and noodly when flexed once the boot warmed up. Felt like a pretty typical pinner AT boot.

Radium: was expecting to be impressed but wasn't. Typical garmont fit, tight foot box, way too much heel room (for me at least), didn't really feel too much stiffer than my adrenalins and did the same foot box super squish.

Factor: Stiffer than the other two, 4.5lbs/boot, vs 3.9 for the radium. Much better fit on my foot which means small heel volume, and wide but not huge foot box. I'm probably going to get a pair of these.

I left each boot on a foot for at least 20 minutes for what it's worth.

srsosbso
12-03-2008, 08:26 PM
Kid:

Nice summary. In 20 minutes you accomplished what has taken me weeks of shopping and on-line searching and way too many posts on here. Next time I need boots (or anything) can I just send you out shopping on my behalf? Just tell me what to buy from now on.

upallnight
12-03-2008, 09:40 PM
just want to chime in as i had a different experience than expressed by a few others -- woo included. i respect the opinions out there but wanted to offer this up for consideration (and possible confusion to those on-the-fence).

i compared all boots to my modified megarides. in each case i swapped in my intuition liners to remove that variable from the equation. i was in search of something stiffer and willing to take a bit of a hit on weight.

important caveats: all this is based on quick indoor tests. also, lateral stiffness -- which is one of the most important characteristics of a boot -- is tough to test indoors.

factors: for me, they were a complete PITA to get into. the wraparound lacing system seems sure to break in under a season of my use. for the weight, i was disappointed in how soft these boots felt. i was also disappointed that the BSL is quite long for any given boots size. this is probably not a big deal for most people, but i've got a bunch of skis mounted with freerides that are nearly maxed out. the factor's BSL is ~10mm longer, and i'm not about to replace a fleet of freerides (or remount my comforts). though heavy, the forward flexion in the walk mode was a dream. in my opinion, that articulation makes the boot feel lighter on the foot. can't speak to the suitability for skinning, but seems great for bootpacking.

method: not even worth considering as they are softer at nearly the same weight as the factors.

radium: seems like a decent boot, though it felt in the same ballpark of stiffness as my modified megarides. their either indicates that the boot is fairly soft, or it's a sign that my mods (raichle tongue + booster strap, intuition power wraps) did a nice job. i would presume -- or, rather, hope -- that they are laterally stiffer. all this is moot as i found the heel pocket fairly big. i'm not certain i can say it's a "typical garmin fit", as my megarides did not have a huge heel pocket.

skookum: seems like a decent, but heavy, boot. i can't consider this due to to the huge forefoot volume (not width but height) -- a trait i've experienced in other scarpa boots.

zzero: very light. not appreciably stiffer than my megarides, albeit at a lighter weight. if i were in search of a light boot, these would top the list.

zzeus: heavier, though i didn't perceive as the heaviest boot on my foot. stiffer than the megarides, though i wouldn't say it was a crazy amount stiffer (fore-aft). walk mode decent -- pretty similar to other ski-mountaineering boots i've tried, which is to say nothing revolutionary. i didn't experience the noise issue, but maybe i wasn't cranking on it enough. BSL more closely matches other dynafit-compatible/ski mountaineering boots, which is appealing to me as mentioned above. i found them easier to slip on than other overlap models. this could be an issue if you're tring to cram your foot in them after a winter overnght.

the zzeus seemed to fit me well, and i'm taking a bet that the overlap design boots will exhibit more lateral stiffness than the 3-piece models. i think i'd seriously consider the factor if the BSL were a bit shorter, but i still think i'd come out in favor of the zzeus due what felt like a bit less weight, no less stiffness, and ease of entry. although i'll be replacing the liners, if i were to keep the stock liner i'd prefer that of the dynafit to the BD.

fit is king. i suspect either one would be a good cross-over boot.

just my opinion, your mileage may vary, etc., etc.

i'll likely be riding the zzeus daily by the end of the week, so i may be able to give some real-world feedback.



zeus: ... bottom got all weird and noodly when flexed once the boot warmed up.

not sure how relevant this is. given the composition of the zzeus, it should stiffen up in the cold. i know you're in tahoe, but i hope that a flex-test @ 70F is not too indicative of your typical tours. :) (i am serious about questioning the validity of that test.)

ps my experience is skiing AT boots since 2000, exclusively, for 100-150 days/year -- primarily denalis, dynafit freeride aeros, and (stock & modified) megarides, with naxos, fritschis, and comfort, skinny skis and fat skis up to 202cm.

srsosbso
12-03-2008, 11:10 PM
Thanks for the input. ^^^ If I read you right, I think your impressions are actually pretty consistent with both kidwoo's and mine, and I agree with your note on the PU plastic of the zzeus and the fact that it should stiffen some in the cold. I think the zzeus and factor are within 100g of each other, so it probably comes down to fit for most people.

upallnight
12-04-2008, 12:13 AM
Thanks for the input. ^^^ If I read you right, I think your impressions are actually pretty consistent with both kidwoo's and mine, and I agree with your note on the PU plastic of the zzeus and the fact that it should stiffen some in the cold. I think the zzeus and factor are within 100g of each other, so it probably comes down to fit for most people.

yeah, i think the 3 of us are generally aligned -- but when i read other remarks on the forum, it seemed (to me) that the relative stiffness of some of the boots was a bit off (particularly the radium).

i also wanted to call out woo's mention of the zzeus feeling ultra soft in a warm room. one reason i piped up was that i felt some could have the impression based on his comments that the zzeus was super soft and the factor much stiffer in comparison. i didn't experience that, and i'm not sure of the relevance of "once the boot warmed up". one good point: it did raise the sensitivity of that boot's flex to temperature, although i think it unlikely that people will use it in an environment where it will turn to butter.

i'm also a bit shocked that no one mentioned just how difficult it was to get into the factors. perhaps my experience was an anomaly. i couldn't imagine getting into them after a cold night in a tent.

my take is that i would only buy a boot from this crop if one had no other AT boot or really needed to address some issue with their current setup. i don't feel any of the designs to be AMAZING -- more evolution than revolution. each boot has its own appeal, but in my assessment no boot is ideally suited to be light enough for long touring days, while burly enough for the highest-speed descent in the worst conditions/inbounds, day-in, day-out pounding.

just my $0.02.

LeeLau
12-04-2008, 12:20 AM
UAN - its good to hear from you again - you're one of the more experienced people around and much less likely to follow the herd mentality so its always nice to hear your impressions.

For now, I'm sticking with a pair of Megarides and a pair of Spirit 3s. I agree that nothing out there right now blows me away enough for me to overcome reluctance to get new boots.

srsosbso
12-04-2008, 10:38 AM
the herd mentality...

?

Anyway, probably worth noting that many of us looking at these boots are not replacing AT boots but rather finally acquiring them. I have toured on tele gear or in alpine boots for years because I have been underwhelmed with the AT offerings. Now I am finally considering getting some because there are dynafit compatible boots that I would consider skiing.

snoop
12-04-2008, 11:38 AM
I just have to chime in here as I continue to tour in my factors and not touch my megarides. There is no doubt that I will tour in my megarides a bunch for super long tours but I have been stoked the more days I'm in the factor and some of those days good size tours with my freakishly fast touring partner. I think like srsosbro pointed out that many of the folks looking at these are coming from alpine boots and this is an alpine boot with dynafit compatability, rockered sole and walk mode and a great option for that crowd. For people like myself who have lighter boots I don't know that I would only have it and ditch the lighter AT boot but I love having the option of a far superior skiing boot for those certain days. The factor skis that much better than my megaride!!! I use booster straps on my megaride and plan on adding a power wrap liner shortly so maybe I will change mind but I think what stands out about the factor is the difference with the overlap design. I hate when you hit the tongue wall on the megaride and then the sides of the boot just deform and the lateral stiffness on the factor is far better!! The one place that the feeling of the tongue wall and deforming that really has been showing up is landing airs. I not a huge air guy but the factor is so smooth and comfortable landing where I hate landings and just don't air much on the megaride. I keep looking for air where normally I save that for my pure alpine boot. This brings me back to my point that these boots really do ski like an alpine boot. Some of the other things brought up is getting in and out of the boot. Once you do it a few times and pull the tongue way out you can get in and out fine. Part of this is that the heel pocket holds you in so tight that it can be tight getting in and out. The walkmode has been discussed a ton so I won't go into that but works great for my touring purposes and style. So there is no doubt that these boots are not for everyone but I think it represents what a lot of folks have been asking for which is a AT boot that skis like an alpine boot. Now if they can just make it 2 lbs. lighter you have a no brainer that everyone will love as long as it fits!!!!!!!

srsosbso
12-04-2008, 11:45 AM
Thanks for that.


I hate when you hit the tongue wall on the megaride and then the sides of the boot just deform
THIS ^^^ is why I have never bought AT boots, and this

this is an alpine boot with dynafit compatability...the difference with the overlap design... these boots really do ski like an alpine boot
is why I'll be buying some now.

kidwoo
12-04-2008, 11:53 AM
So that's what it takes to get UAN back. A detailed review of AT boots with slightly differing impressions :D

Give me a call man. I don't think either one of us are skiing too much these days.


The reason I'm even looking at boots is that I'm switching over to dynafits. I'm kind of tired of Fritschis. So in doing that I'm looking for the most alpine boot-esque option out there. My current adrenalins with intuitions are already not the lightest and I figure the wieght lost in bindings should even out a potentially heavier boot.

Over that last few years I've gotten to really appreciate a good alpine setup. I know a lot of people view that as a crutch but I don't have a decade or two worth of skiing underneath me like most people and I can definitely ski more aggressively with more foreward lean and a stiffer boot.

Switching back and forth annoys me......you know.....that whole phenomenon you avoid completely by always skiing in AT gear. ;) I'm not man enough to do that, all kidding aside.

The Factors were to me the stiffest of those three boots, no question. As hokey as that boa system is, it really did seem to give a very even compression and compact the upper part of the liner pretty well. I think this allows you remove any slop in the liner when you go to buckle up. I actually tightened it a good bit again after having the boots on for a while. Maybe I'm wrong but it seemed that way to me, especially in comparison to the lace up liner on the Zzeus. That boa system is nothing new by the way. Snowboard boots have had that for years. Early versions did break, but later ones were solid. Hopefully BD did some homework.

I mentioned that I had them on and it was warm because I do think it's relevant. There's no question in my mind that my boots heat up after two hours of hiking, especially in the spring time. Are they going to heat up to room temperature while skinning up in two feet of snow? Probably not. But again the mention of it could also point to a potential error in my assessment at the very least. Point being: they were pretty warm when I was comparing flexes. If the Zzeuseseses stiffen up in the cold, that's a good thing.

I threw my adrenalins in my truck this morning and I'm going back to the shop to try on the factors again to get a better comparison to what I already own. I haven't skied since last June so I realize I may just be forgetting what my own boots feel like. I can say this though: I know they expand the foot box when flexed quite a bit, especially after having them on for a few hours. The radiums and the Zzeusseseses did this too, a lot more than the factors. Which again makes me think the factors will maintain their stiffness after some use a little better.

If I'm wrong in my thinking on any of this please let me know. I'm about to drop a crapload of money on one of these things :D

kidwoo
12-04-2008, 12:06 PM
i also wanted to call out woo's mention of the zzeus feeling ultra soft in a warm room. one reason i piped up was that i felt some could have the impression based on his comments that the zzeus was super soft and the factor much stiffer in comparison. i didn't experience that, and i'm not sure of the relevance of "once the boot warmed up". one good point: it did raise the sensitivity of that boot's flex to temperature, although i think it unlikely that people will use it in an environment where it will turn to butter.



Oh yeah.....just to clarify. I didn't think the Zzeus was a soft boot in comparison to other AT boots, just softer than the Factor and softer than what I was expecting. I may try to downsize half a size today but as it stands from my comparison yesterday, the radium and Zzeus were pretty comparable. I tried on all 26s FWIW. A 25.5 might be a better indication. But either way, I'm looking for the best fitting stiffest dynafit compatible boot out there. So far the Zzeus seems not it.

BurnHard
12-04-2008, 12:06 PM
I hate when you hit the tongue wall on the megaride and then the sides of the boot just deform

Yup. Hate it. And unfortunately even the Scarpa Skookums, as stiff as they are, still do this - hit the tongue, flex forward, and the sides just bulge out. They don't do it nearly as much as my old Scarpa Vectors or Scarpa Denali TTs do, but they still do.

However. I tried the BD Factors on again yesterday. Honestly, I'm not too impressed about the flex. They're stiff as fuck once I reach the front, but I don't like that there's almost an inch of forward lean before I hit the stiff flex. It's just weird. The Skookums aren't as stiff overall, but they flex progressively all the way from the beginning.

Dunno. Still super undecided. Fortunately I don't need AT boots till late Feb / early March, plenty of time to try shit out and pick the perfect one. Unless I decide to go with the Factors which would mean getting rid of my alpine boots and keeping a one-boot quiver. Then again, the fact that the Factors don't come with the lugged Dynafit soles pisses me off - $750 bucks and shelling out another $50 bucks for the soles. Bwah.

LeeLau
12-04-2008, 12:12 PM
The herd mentality. [ above post for srsosbso]

All overlap boots are better then tongue boots

Fritschis suck

Dynafits are for pansies ... oh wait ... Dynafits are rad-gnar

Riser bars are great ... oh wait ... flat bars are great

Baggy pants are the tits ... oh wait .... hip hugging Scholler is great ....

Not a specific knock on the Factor bandwagon. What's important is that it works FOR YOU [lots of emphasis added.

snoop
12-04-2008, 12:12 PM
Kidwoo I can't compare to the radium and zzues as they just didn't fit as well as the factor did for my foot but thats one of the things that stands out about the factor to me is there ability to be flexed hard and not having that feeling of the plastic deforming and then creating a sloppy feel. They absolutely maintain great stiffness fore and aft as well as laterally.

JoeStrummer
12-04-2008, 12:26 PM
Lots of good points in this thread. I finally settled on the Radiums and have skied them 12 days or so. Much stiffer in all respects than my stock Megarides with clapped out G-Fit liners, and much easier on my feetsies when driving bigger skis. But if I had fitted my Megarides with Powerwraps and good booster straps? Who knows? Probably could've gotten 85% of the performance for 85% of the weight at 30% of the price. Of course, that doesn't satisfy my inner gear whore quite as much as new Radiums.

If you already have an AT boot you like, the new boots probably aren't necessary, as UAN said. If you don't have AT boots or if you think your current boots are failing you, it's good to have the new options.

Anyway, I'll have some more impressions after a dozen more days. I like the Radium much better than the Megarides in most respects but as has been said previously, it's more evolutionary than revolutionary.

kidwoo
12-04-2008, 12:31 PM
Fritschis suck

Dynafits are for pansies ... oh wait ... Dynafits are rad-gnar


Moooooo


Wanna buy some freerides?

I was about 20 minutes from buying another pair a few weeks ago and just realized that with the price these things still cost, now is the time to switch.

My name is kidwoo and I want some ramp angle.

Snoop: Yeah I totally agree. I've got the older style adrenalins with the tab tounge thing that moves about half an inch and then stops the tounge and begins expanding the boot. It feels wierd. There's a little of that to the Factor but nothing like the older garmonts. Of course it looks like the newer adrenalines just use the megaride system now.....bummer for me. The factor still has that rearward lean slop before it hits the heel bar thing but again, it's better than most boots I've tried. Thanks for the input. Not too may people have actual ski time on these yet.

If I end up getting these things the first thing I'm doing is taking out the walk/ski mode bar and seeing if I can add a notch higher up so the 'ski' position is more angled. It might get rid of that slop and put you immediate into the spot where you're flexing the boot and not moving the cuff up to that point.

It looks like you can pull it out with some allen screws. Woot!

snoop
12-04-2008, 12:47 PM
Kidwoo I agree that there is a little of that deforming with the factor but very subtle and way better than most AT boots. I think the only boot that I've used that doesn't do this at all are my Nordica Aggressor 150 and thats cause they hardly budge.

srsosbso
12-04-2008, 03:00 PM
I tried the BD Factors on again yesterday. Honestly, I'm not too impressed about the flex. They're stiff as fuck once I reach the front, but I don't like that there's almost an inch of forward lean before I hit the stiff flex. It's just weird.

I think, THINK, this might be a consequence of the boa system. I found that the boa system allowed me to feel like the boot was tight without, well, tightening the boot. So I was moving WITHIN the cuff. Once I cranked the cuff up tight, like it should be, and like I would have without the liner already feeling tight around my ankle, then I thought it flexed perfectly, like an alpine boot.

And ya, I'm one of those guys that think overlap boots are better. I've tried a lot of floating tongue boots on, and hated them all. Truth is, it was actually anti-herd, because lots of people I know and ski with like the tongue boots fine, but I didn't.

Cheesestoff
12-04-2008, 09:06 PM
fwiw Dawson's site has a review of the zzeus up. The thing turning me off the zzeus is the low cuff height and the PU plastic. I can just imagine waking up in the morning and not being able to put my boot on if snow camping. After camping last april when it hit -25C, this could be a serious problem.

I'm personally not considering the factor as for me it weighs too much, but I might consider it in the future as a replacement for my alpine boot

the zzeus can be made reasonably light by tossing the heavy stock liner (328 grams each) and putting in intuitions (220grams each), making it 1850gms per boot (radium is 1880gms, factor is 2143gms)

upallnight
12-04-2008, 09:34 PM
So that's what it takes to get UAN back. A detailed review of AT boots with slightly differing impressions :D

Give me a call man. I don't think either one of us are skiing too much these days.

i dunno...i've toured 30 days so far this year (well, since late october). :D (seriously)

love to ride with you sometime.



The reason I'm even looking at boots is that I'm switching over to dynafits. I'm kind of tired of Fritschis. So in doing that I'm looking for the most alpine boot-esque option out there. My current adrenalins with intuitions are already not the lightest and I figure the wieght lost in bindings should even out a potentially heavier boot.


i commented about how the great ankle articulation made the factors feel lighter on your foot than they feel in hand? well, with the dynafits you've got a similar effect: the fantastic stride makes them feel so light & natural. (add on the weight savings, too, and the effect is really mind-blowing. you'll never want to tour on anything else.)

[of course, perhaps all the nay-sayers are right, so the poor skinning stride of the factors might offset the dynafit goodness, just like the weight gain might offset the lightweight dynafits. ;-)]




Switching back and forth annoys me......you know.....that whole phenomenon you avoid completely by always skiing in AT gear. ;) I'm not man enough to do that, all kidding aside.


my point has always been that people are remarkably adaptable, but switching back and forth causes people to focus on what is missing in the setup (i.e., "these [AT] boots are so soft" or "these [alpine] boots are so heavy"). when you commit for an extended period of time, you adapt, stop drawing the comparisons, and learn to ski what you've got.



As hokey as that boa system is, it really did seem to give a very even compression and compact the upper part of the liner pretty well. I think this allows you remove any slop in the liner when you go to buckle up.


we agree on this point -- i think the BOA system creates a good fit, but i'm 99% confident it will break in my daily use.

also, i'm kind of worried about your 2nd statement. do you have slop in the liner after buckling your current boots? i don't have a BOA system (just intuitions), but there's no slop.



Maybe I'm wrong but it seemed that way to me, especially in comparison to the lace up liner on the Zzeus.

to be clear, the BOA liner can go head-to-head with a thermo liner. laces don't do much other than keep the liners on your feet in a hut. so, i'd argue that the uncooked lace-up liner comparison isn't ideal.



That boa system is nothing new by the way. Snowboard boots have had that for years. Early versions did break, but later ones were solid. Hopefully BD did some homework.


re: snowboarding BOA liners... the people i've known who have broken BOA liners are snowboarders. :)

re: homework -- hope so. let's check in after a year of hard use (100+ days).




There's no question in my mind that my boots heat up after two hours of hiking, especially in the spring time.
in your example, if they heat up in those conditions, great! they'll tour better on the uphill! :) assuming air temps when you start down are in the 40s (and assuming your feet are on the snow surface), i'd bet they cool down reasonably quick. so...i'd still say that a test of some hard work/flexing in a 70F store may not be relevant.



I threw my adrenalins in my truck this morning and I'm going back to the shop to try on the factors again to get a better comparison to what I already own. I haven't skied since last June so I realize I may just be forgetting what my own boots feel like. I can say this though: I know they expand the foot box when flexed quite a bit, especially after having them on for a few hours. The radiums and the Zzeusseseses did this too, a lot more than the factors. Which again makes me think the factors will maintain their stiffness after some use a little better.

definitely try them on side-by-side with your old boot. do your adrenalins have a thermo liner? pop them in each boot you try, to reduce one variable.



If I'm wrong in my thinking on any of this please let me know. I'm about to drop a crapload of money on one of these things :D

i think we're all trying to figure this out, and there's no one to attest to the performance and/or durability after 100, 150 days on snow. seems like we'll be the guinea pigs come spring.


Oh yeah.....just to clarify. I didn't think the Zzeus was a soft boot in comparison to other AT boots, just softer than the Factor and softer than what I was expecting. I may try to downsize half a size today but as it stands from my comparison yesterday, the radium and Zzeus were pretty comparable. I tried on all 26s FWIW. A 25.5 might be a better indication. But either way, I'm looking for the best fitting stiffest dynafit compatible boot out there. So far the Zzeus seems not it.

i tried on 26.0s for all boots. i could not physically get into a 25.5 zzeus. i felt like 26 was right in all of them (albeit not all fit my foot well), for whatever that's worse.

interesting that while i won't sit here and write that the zzeus was super-stiff, i will say that i had equal disappointment in the soft-feeling fore-aft flex of the factors.



However. I tried the BD Factors on again yesterday. Honestly, I'm not too impressed about the flex. They're stiff as fuck once I reach the front, but I don't like that there's almost an inch of forward lean before I hit the stiff flex. It's just weird. The Skookums aren't as stiff overall, but they flex progressively all the way from the beginning.

i found them soft, too. i'm not sure that i agree with someone else's comment after yours that maybe you didn't have the liners tight enough. i'm pretty sure i had put on the liners properly and still experienced what you did.



Then again, the fact that the Factors don't come with the lugged Dynafit soles pisses me off - $750 bucks and shelling out another $50 bucks for the soles. Bwah.

i know what you mean. however, i know folks considering the factor for their only boot. they don't yet have dynafit bindings, but with the factor they preserve dynafit as an option when funds are available.

that said, aren't the factors around $50 cheaper than the US retail of the zzeus? [then again, european retail -- retail -- is $425.]



Lots of good points in this thread. I finally settled on the Radiums and have skied them 12 days or so. Much stiffer in all respects than my stock Megarides with clapped out G-Fit liners, and much easier on my feetsies when driving bigger skis. But if I had fitted my Megarides with Powerwraps and good booster straps? Who knows? Probably could've gotten 85% of the performance for 85% of the weight at 30% of the price. Of course, that doesn't satisfy my inner gear whore quite as much as new Radiums.

joe -- you're one of the only people posting with some measure of "extended" experience. the old g-fit liners suck for alpine performance. i've said it then, and it was borne out when some people who initially praised them later reported on the marked difference between g-fits and intuitions.

after trying radiums on in store alongside megarides with intuition + booster + raichle tongue, i'd argue that the megarides had 95-100% of the feel of the radiums.

(note: lateral stiffness is hard to measure indoors, but the radiums didn't feel that much different.)



Anyway, I'll have some more impressions after a dozen more days. I like the Radium much better than the Megarides in most respects but as has been said previously, it's more evolutionary than revolutionary.
it will be interesting for all of us to compare notes throughout the season. my pair of zzeuses are due on my doorstep tomorrow.




Wanna buy some freerides?

actually, i would! what have you got, woo? if they are lightly-used FR+ (small) and priced right, i might be interested. i need a pair for some skis that only see inbounds use.

kidwoo
12-04-2008, 11:00 PM
also, i'm kind of worried about your 2nd statement. do you have slop in the liner after buckling your current boots? i don't have a BOA system (just intuitions), but there's no slop.

No slop in my current boots (intuition power wrap liners btw). I mentioned it because it took me a few lace ups to get the Zzeus linter as snug as the Factor liner. Like you said, I think the intuition and a tightened boa system are similar......nice and tight around your lower leg without too much work. And then once they're as compressed as they're going to be, it's easier to get your boot buckled to the point where there's the solid interface you look for.




in your example, if they heat up in those conditions, great! they'll tour better on the uphill! :) assuming air temps when you start down are in the 40s (and assuming your feet are on the snow surface), i'd bet they cool down reasonably quick. so...i'd still say that a test of some hard work/flexing in a 70F store may not be relevant.

Okay. I can believe that. :D




actually, i would! what have you got, woo? if they are lightly-used FR+ (small) and priced right, i might be interested. i need a pair for some skis that only see inbounds use.

I don't have any freeride pluses. Just freeride neutrals.

I didn't make it up to the shop today to compare with my current boots. I will tomorrow.

upallnight
12-04-2008, 11:30 PM
I didn't make it up to the shop today to compare with my current boots. I will tomorrow.

be sure to swap liners -- or at least compare the zzeus/boots other than factors with an intuition liner.

"freeride neutral" works on many levels. nice, for the ramp-angle-hating crowd. :)

kidwoo
12-05-2008, 02:12 PM
Just got back from trying on the Zzeus and Factor with my intutions. The Zeus actually has a stiffer flex with my liners. Just to make sure I wasn't on crack, I put the stock liner back in. Nope, it just sucks compared to an intuition and the boa liner.

I wish I had my video camera while flexing the Zzeus though. It makes funny sounds for sure.


So stiffer is one thing but the quality of flex still goes to the Factor in my mind. Part of it's just the boot material I think as the cuff slides over the lower part of the boot much smoother (and quieter). The Zzeus still felt kind of rough and clumsy where the Factor is more like a smooth oil damped suspension fork. The Zzeus still caused a lot of lower boot expansion when flexed....something I'm still not too stoked on.

Both boots with intuitions were a noticeable improvement over my adrenalins with intuitions so now that I have the Zzeus as a possiblity in my mind now, I think I'd be happy with either one. The Zzeus actually fit a little better than the Factor in terms of footbox width but it was pretty minor.
Some wieghts taken on a digital bike scale.

Stock Factor: 4.6-4.7lbs
Stock Zzeus: 4.2lbs
Adrenalin w/Intuition: 4.2lbs.

So I might actually get a lighter boot if I go with the Zzeus and an intuition. Something else to consider.

srsosbso
12-05-2008, 02:28 PM
the Factor is more like a smooth oil damped suspension fork.

Nicely said.

upallnight
12-05-2008, 06:10 PM
I know a number of folks are about to make purchasing decisions, so I figured I'd post a bit of feedback after a couple hours on the Zzeuses. I'd normally refrain from posting based on limited information, but if you take it with the appropriate caveats it may be valuable.

Really quick...
1) Out of the box, the boots were pretty loud. However, walking around outside I really didn't notice anything that I've not noticed in other AT boots. Did I get used to it and tune it out as background? Do they make more noise at 70F than at 25F? Did the noise lessen after walking a bit/wearing down ever so slightly? Don't know. Not an issue, IMO.

2) Weight. I need to do a more careful measurement, but Zzeus + intuition weighed the same as -- over very close to it -- my Megarides + inutitions + booster straps. That was surprising, particularly given that the Zzeus felt stiffer fore-aft.

3) I skied for a bit in very firm conditions -- fast laps on a groomer where most of the snow was pushed off. The thing everyone cares about is lateral stiffness, and the only reliable test seems to be one done on snow. I felt these were significantly more stiff, laterally, than my Megarides. While not quite an alpine boot, in my opinion, these get quite a bit of the way there to a decent alpine boot's stiffness. (Not comparing them against race boots.) I have every confidence they can drive big skis and/or handle variable conditions -- though more time will be necessary to draw any real conclusions. I suspect the overlap feature to contribute significantly to the alpine-like feel. Note: Air temps were in the 25F ballpark, and we know that the Zzeus has a PU shell that should be stiffer in cold conditions than warm conditions.

4) While the ankle does not flex like the BD with buckles closed, I found that using the buckle extensions on the Zzeus gave me a good range of motion. Revolutionary? No. But at least as good as my Megarides and possibly a tad better. I had no complaints with the Megarides in this department.

5) Ski/Walk mode switch. Easy to engage and feel you're locked in. Need more time to test this, but I don't expect any issues.

Of course, it all comes down to fit, but given that (for me) both Factor and Zzeus liners are throw-aways, the Zzeus + intuition combo's lighter weight and comparable -- if not stiffer -- flex, as well as the competitive freedom of motion when buckles are undone made my decision easier. I would bet that either one will ski quite well and please the owner, but I believe the Zzeus will hike a bit better. In fact, I may retire my Megarides altogether, whch would be a bold statement on longer tours.

Last point: Years ago, as I found with my Dynafit Freeride Aero 4's, there was a small tab or "wing" embedded into the upper cuff such that when it contacted the lower cuff, it dramatically increased the stiffness of the boot. Back then, I felt that this spoiled the flex of the boot altogether -- it was like hitting a brick-wall and any further flex caused the lower shell to deform. One could grind that tab to restore even flex.

The Zzeus has a similar feature. I've attached a photo. "A" shows a raised plastic surface in the shape of 1/2 of an ellipse (vertical long axis) on the upper cuff. The line I drew is just to the right of a 2-3mm lip. This contacts the lower shell and affects flex. In my short experience on the hill, while this is a "brick-wall" type of thing, the lower shell flexed more evenly than that of the old Freeride Aero. I suspect that one may be able to grind down this lip in order to convert it into a ramp (to promote even flex), to move the hard-stop deeper into the flex, or to remove it altogether. At this point, I'm not interested in doing any of that, but I point it out as an option.

PS I see Woo's impressions above agree with mine: The Zzeus is both lighter and stiffer than BD's stiffest offering.

Just my experience, your mileage may vary, opinions based on very limited time on snow, etc., etc.

wilcox510
12-05-2008, 09:43 PM
Its interesting how we can all have very different opinions/experiences with boots. I just came back from trying on the Zzeus, Factor, and Radium for the third time (only in the store time, no skiing). I put my Intuitions in all boots, and to me the Factor is very clearly the stiffest in forward flex, no question. The Zzeus and the Radium seem pretty similar in forward flex, with the Zzeus possibly being a bit stiffer. Zzeus seems to be the widest in the forefoot by a fair bit, but the Radium is taller in the forefoot if that makes sense. Tour mode is as everyone else notes, really smooth forward in the Factor without much rearward movement, pretty good in both directions in the Zzeus, Decent in the Radiums. Can't say much about lateral stiffness.

I'm in a similar situation as UAN, I currently have Megarides with stiff tongues and Intuitions. I'm just not sure how much of a step up the Radiums would be, for me I'm sure the Factors would ski the best, its just the weight and the lack or rearward motion in tour mode that deters me. I emailed Chris Davenport about the Radiums (obviously he could be a bit biases since he is sponsored by Garmont, but isnt he also sponsored by BD?). He raved about the Radiums, saying they weren't even in the same class as the Megarides, and he has skied plenty in the Factors but thinks they are more of a side country boot, not agile enough for ski mountaineering for him.

LeeLau
12-05-2008, 09:55 PM
UAN - be careful about the overlap "flaps" on the ZZeus. The pair I demoed and wrote about for Wildsnow had the flaps folded and compressed. Someone had been a bit hasty getting into them and crossed them over - ie outside flap on inside and vice versa - the plastic's so thin that its easy to do so. Glad you like the boots

jibs
12-05-2008, 10:22 PM
I figured I'd mention that i tried on a pair of Methods a few days ago. The BOA system felt great and the only downside was that a ski tech had to use pliers to pull the wire loose after the knob release malfunctioned. They're supposedly fully field serviceable and it could have been one in a million but worrisome all the same.

XXX-er
12-06-2008, 11:14 AM
The Zzeus has a similar feature. I've attached a photo. "A" shows a raised plastic surface in the shape of 1/2 of an ellipse (vertical long axis) on the upper cuff. The line I drew is just to the right of a 2-3mm lip. This contacts the lower shell and affects flex. In my short experience on the hill, while this is a "brick-wall" type of thing, the lower shell flexed more evenly than that of the old Freeride Aero. I suspect that one may be able to grind down this lip in order to convert it into a ramp (to promote even flex), to move the hard-stop deeper into the flex, or to remove it altogether. At this point, I'm not interested in doing any of that, but I point it out as an option.

.


anybody done this ?A buddy just got these boots and wants to soften them a bunch ,I suggested dremeling out those lips and finding softer tounges

khyber.pass
12-06-2008, 11:33 AM
After going through the sizing / trying on game my size 28 Radiums are ordered and on the way. Almost went for Skookums but I get still get a lot of pain over the instep strap era with the tongue design. So I'll see how the Radiums go. Probably will shim them 0.5-1mm with some binder plastic on the bottom of the shell to increase overall fit and put some foam in to tighten up the heel. The 27.5 was just too damn tight and would have required too much $$$ in bootwork to make it ring.

Not that it matters. PNW is still raining & inversioned.

srsosbso
12-06-2008, 02:28 PM
A buddy just got these boots and wants to soften them a bunch

Okay, call me stupid, but why buy the zzeus is he wants a softer boot? Next to the factor they are the heaviest new option out there. Is your pal a 25.5 or 26 by any chance? Tell him to sell me his zzeus's cheap and buy himself the zzero.

XXX-er
12-06-2008, 04:02 PM
would you believe me if I told you We have a small local rather ecelectic group of hard boot snow boarders who have been rocking some old nordica AT boots for a great many years which are no longer available ,buddy got the clear red zzeros and he finds them kind of stiff ?

srsosbso
12-06-2008, 04:34 PM
You bet I'd believe you. I snowboarded for all of two seasons way back when and I was rockin' some AT boots and hard boot bindings. Not nordicas though I don't actually remember what they were. I think they were red ones. Red ones are always good.

There's a cool movie about roger's pass called 'locomotion' that features dave swetland and somebody else in hard boots ripping some big pow lines on snowboards. Very cool.

Cheesestoff
12-08-2008, 10:15 AM
Up all night: does the lower shell on the zzeus bulge out when the boot is flexed hard (like the radium)? have you tried putting the boot on when the shell is cold?

upallnight
12-10-2008, 10:47 PM
anybody done this ?A buddy just got these boots and wants to soften them a bunch ,I suggested dremeling out those lips and finding softer tounges

go back to your buddy and tell him you were misinformed. (unless you've figured out how to replace the tongue on an overlap-construction boot, that is.) if he can still return the boot or sell it for close to what he paid, it may make more sense to slide into the right pair of boots (e.g., zzeros) rather than try to soften a heavier, stiffer boot.


I figured I'd mention that i tried on a pair of Methods a few days ago. The BOA system felt great and the only downside was that a ski tech had to use pliers to pull the wire loose after the knob release malfunctioned. They're supposedly fully field serviceable and it could have been one in a million but worrisome all the same.

huge red flag. the snowboarders i knew that had boots with that system (a) had them fail a reasonable amount and (b) had a major PITA to replace the wiring.


UAN - be careful about the overlap "flaps" on the ZZeus. The pair I demoed and wrote about for Wildsnow had the flaps folded and compressed. Someone had been a bit hasty getting into them and crossed them over - ie outside flap on inside and vice versa - the plastic's so thin that its easy to do so. Glad you like the boots

that's pretty sad if someone could do that. i can see how one might get the inner flap stuck between the buckle and outer flap, but that wouldn't cause what you describe -- nothing different from any overlap. they must have really had to work hard to get it in that position!



I'm in a similar situation as UAN, I currently have Megarides with stiff tongues and Intuitions. I'm just not sure how much of a step up the Radiums would be, for me I'm sure the Factors would ski the best, its just the weight and the lack or rearward motion in tour mode that deters me. I emailed Chris Davenport about the Radiums (obviously he could be a bit biases since he is sponsored by Garmont, but isnt he also sponsored by BD?). He raved about the Radiums, saying they weren't even in the same class as the Megarides, and he has skied plenty in the Factors but thinks they are more of a side country boot, not agile enough for ski mountaineering for him.

i've only had my zzeuses for 6 days, so i've only been out in them for 6 days, but i find them to be fairly agile, as well as quite stiff for the resort. they're not the lightest, but they feel reasonable on-foot. they have the makings of a (heavy) one-boot quiver -- not light enough to please those concerned with weight on long tours, but just fine for moderate ones. with the buckles loosened, i get plenty of ankle flexion (yes, i drive in my boots), so i don't find myself longing for that factor flexion. (in my limited test, i think the factor's flexion came at too high of a cost.)

i agree with chris's sentiment that the radiums are much stiffer than the stock megarides, but the stock megaride tongue is sooooo soft. modified megarides seem very close to the radium. i wouldn't make that "upgrade" (unless they were free).



Up all night: does the lower shell on the zzeus bulge out when the boot is flexed hard (like the radium)? have you tried putting the boot on when the shell is cold?

i haven't found the lower cuff of the zzeus to bulge noticeably. i tested it indoors with an extreme flex and maybe see a bit of it, but it's not something that i experienced while skiing. i'm not concerned.

i haven't put the boot on in a cold environment (see aforementioned comments about (a) only having them for a short time and (b) driving in my boots -- i.e., i put them on at home), but i've found them reasonably easy -- for an overlap -- to put on. nothing will compete with a 3-piece boot. the factors, by way of comparison, were a struggle for me to put on even in the store. perhaps that's an anomaly.

shasti
12-11-2008, 12:33 AM
Just wanted to chime in on UAN's observations of the Zzeus. It is stiffer than the factor.

It flexes differently but me and 4 of my friends who all work at BC shops in seattle all agree the Zzeus has the SLIGHT edge, and no the lower cuff does not buldge considerably when flexed a la Radium. It is also only a mm or 2 at most different in the upper cuff height than the FActor, with the front part of the upper cuff on the Zzeus being taller than that of the Factor, and the rear part of the Zzeus being shorter than that of the Factor (due to spoiler on the Factor). This, and a better walk mode, and lighter weight, and no BOA system (it might not break, but it also might, not a concern I want to take on if I dont have to)and stock dynafit option, lead me to state that in my opinion, for my purposes and foot shape, Zzeus > Factor. Just got mine in a 29.0. Review to come once we get some snow in WA (hopefully this weekend)

ulty_guy
12-11-2008, 04:43 AM
update on the radium- plunked down and got them a couple of weeks ago and have 2 tours in them. not a bad boot and for my skinny fit, about the only thing that could possibly work. touring stride was smooth, but the boots are far from light. on the downhill, i used the more upright setting and was surprised that it felt a bit backseat even though i'm used to a pretty upright stance. they were strong enough to rally through some manky snow tho (used em on freeride/explosiv 180 combo). anyone used them w/ big sticks yet? was thining of putting my dukes on some 191 goliaths...

as for the liners?....they're still absolute CRAP. i'll be swapping them w/ footwork's custom made ones this wknd down in cham.

verbier61
12-11-2008, 05:31 AM
as for the liners?....they're still absolute CRAP. i'll be swapping them w/ footwork's custom made ones this wknd down in cham.

it's amazing how garmont is still unable to produce or buy decent liners....

JoeStrummer
12-11-2008, 07:10 AM
it's amazing how garmont is still unable to produce or buy decent liners....

In some ways, I like these liners LESS than previous G-Fits. At least on my other liners the tongue didn't flop forward like that of a tired dog when out of the shells.

Otherwise, I had the Radiums out on two tours in the last few days, each with about 4k of vert. I think the boot skis MUCH better than the Megaride. It doesn't skin as well, particularly on the flats where I have yet to find the sweet spot. When the skinning gets steeper, they are fine. in other words, the longer the stride, the less I care for them.

Meathelmet
12-11-2008, 09:10 AM
I think the boot skis MUCH better than the Megaride. It doesn't skin as well, particularly on the flats where I have yet to find the sweet spot. When the skinning gets steeper, they are fine. in other words, the longer the stride, the less I care for them.

Hell, it cant ski much worse than the megas either..

I concur,the radiums feel that they are on a different planet than megas (franken megas:raichle liner and superstiff tongue),even with the standard liner. I can only imagine what the boot would feel with a intuition/raichle liners.


UAN, as you said that ZZeros are stiffer than factors, have you tried factors in the cold? I.a skiing?
Just noticed that when the boots had been in the back of the car for a night,they showed a bit of the same tendecy as my nordica boots. Stiffened up.
Just curious!

XXX-er
12-11-2008, 09:49 AM
go back to your buddy and tell him you were misinformed. (unless you've figured out how to replace the tongue on an overlap-construction boot, that is.) if he can still return the boot or sell it for close to what he paid, it may make more sense to slide into the right pair of boots (e.g., zzeros) rather than try to soften a heavier, stiffer boot.


.

Buddy has the clear red plastic zzero 4u with a grey tounge and those limiter tabs ...I admit I have a tendency to mix up zzero and zzues

so for future ref the zzero has a tounge and the zzues is overlap

plugboots
12-11-2008, 10:49 AM
Tried on the Radium, Factor, Zzues, and Axon on Saturday, and bought the Factor after narrowing it down to the Factor or Zzeus last night.

I already own the Zzero, so these are to replace my Lange plug boots.
All the things mentioned in this thread were evident in the decision. The Factor doesn't bend backwards very well, but I don't care, since I'll tour more with the Zzeros. The Zzeus prolly has a better thermo fit, but I couldn't tell when I tried them on, and the shop, (Pro Ski Seattle), didn't think it mattered much. I've used the BOA system on mountain bike shoes, and I like it, so no issue there. The Factors are harder to get on, but shit, have you ever put on plugs?

The difference for me was the more upright stance of the Factor, that can be made MORE upright by moving the screw down on the back of the boot, and the alpine soles on the Factor having a lot of rubber, whereas the alpine soles on the Zzues having none. I couldn't tell which was stiffer, and again the guys at the shop thought they were similar stiffness.

It would be hard to go wrong either way.

Spats
12-14-2008, 01:00 AM
I tried on the Zzeus and the Factor. Scarpas fit me so poorly that I can't give a meaningful review. Here are my impressions:

Walk mode: Factor wins. The Zzeus goes backwards a little bit farther, but walk mode isn't much softer than ski mode, and it's very creaky. The Factor doesn't go back quite as far, but walk mode is BUTTERY...smooth, friction-free, and totally noiseless. Did I mention it was buttery? Unless you're doing a lot of flat skinning the Factor wins...and if you're doing a lot of flat skinning, you need a different boot.

Stiffness: Factor is stiffer, though not by a lot. Whether that's good or bad is your call.

Intangible "quality" feeling: Zzeus wins. Nothing wrong with the Factor, just like there's nothing wrong with a Scarpa...but Dynafits just look and feel classier and more solid. Plus that lime green says "Salomon, 1995."

Liners: Both worked OK and felt of decent quality...but Intuitions are still better. I hate the Boa system, though. Cinching the liner up inside the boot is fake bootfitting: it makes you feel like the boot fits better, but it doesn't keep you from slopping around inside the shell. I'd be tempted to rip it out altogether.

Conclusion: The difference in features/quality isn't big enough to override the shell fit. Buy whichever fits your foot better.

kidwoo
12-14-2008, 11:05 AM
I can't wait to get my zeus boots and buff out all the plastic between the cuff and boot lower. I WILL get that frictionless stride :D

srsosbso
12-14-2008, 11:25 AM
The Zzeus... walk mode...very creaky.

How many people have skied these? I noticed this in the shop as well, and I thought it had the potential to be super-annoying on a long skin track. LeeLau said he didn't notice it when he tested them, though he didn't happen to mention if he had AC/DC rocking his ipod at 'eleven' on the climbs.

Cheesestoff
12-14-2008, 06:52 PM
skied the zzeus today at rogers pass, ski great, articulation same or better than my frankenrides, still able to put my foot in while the boots were cold.. and it was cold today. They don't make any noise when touring or skiing.

srsosbso
12-14-2008, 09:22 PM
They don't make any noise...

Thanks. Nothin' like in-the-field testing.

So... are they warm? You'd know.

pjt
12-15-2008, 07:19 AM
Mine sqeak. Not terribly annoying but would like to minimize it. They didn't at first but it has developed over the last couple tours. I was told by a shop to wash the shells with dish soap. I plan to try that.

Other than that they tour great (plenty of cuff range with buckles unbuckled) and ski well (much much better for me than my Denali TTs). They stiffen up noticeably in cold weather IMO.
I think the liners are pretty nice but may try a pair of the new tongue Intuitions anyway as I could use a hair more width in spots and shave a few ounces perhaps.

srsosbso
12-15-2008, 12:04 PM
I was told by a shop to wash the shells with dish soap.

Huh. Dish soap. I can see a little residual soap film working temporarily. Hard to see this as a long term solution. Did they suggest you start packing some palmolive with your probe and shovel?

Cheesestoff
12-15-2008, 11:19 PM
can't fully answer the warmth question as I didn't have time to mould the stock liner so had to jimmy in my g-fit liners, ended up with a bit of pressure around my toes and have slightly numb toes now.... no worse than the other guy I was touring with.

As far as skiing goes I was very impressed, and am assuming they will be way better without my worn out g-fits. Hit a few small drops today and skiied a lot of knee deep pow.. way more control than my garmonts.
Where the increased stiffness was really noticeable was the icy luge track ski out. In the garmonts this would normally be quite frightening, but with the zzeus I found myself popping off the whoop-dee-doos and carrying way more speed than I ever would in the garmonts.

still no noise from my boots.

ulty_guy
12-16-2008, 01:10 AM
update on the radium liners- got the 12mm pilau liner from footworks (the garmont one is like 8mm) cause i just didn't have much hold on top of the foot. they do work a bit better but the reality for me is that no touring boot is ever going to be narrow enough. the aftermarket liners i got are apparently made in the same factory as the g-fits and footworks even told garmont to go with the aftermarket liner that they got pilau to make specifically for their shop and they still did do it. i guess that's why footworks orders all garmonts boot w/out liners, less waste i guess.

pjt
12-16-2008, 07:57 AM
Naw, I only use Seventh Generation products with my avy gear being environmental and all.

I don't think it was the soap coating to stop the creaking but rather washing off any residual film left on the plastic shell from the manufacturing process. Could be total BS but free and easy to try if squeaky boots are a problem for you.

srsosbso
12-16-2008, 08:53 AM
As far as skiing goes I was very impressed, and am assuming they will be way better without my worn out g-fits. Hit a few small drops today and skiied a lot of knee deep pow.. way more control than my garmonts.
sounds good. do you ski alpine/resort? How did they compare to your alpine boots? I felt (in the shop) like I could flex the zzeus BACKWARDS in ski mode more than I would like. Did you notice such a thing skiing, or was I out of my mind?


footworks orders all garmonts boot w/out liners.
You can do that, just order shells? Shit. Who knew? Where is this footworks place?



washing off any residual film.
Oh. Now I get it. DOH!

Cheesestoff
12-16-2008, 09:47 AM
sounds good. do you ski alpine/resort? How did they compare to your alpine boots? I felt (in the shop) like I could flex the zzeus BACKWARDS in ski mode more than I would like. Did you notice such a thing skiing, or was I out of my mind?



I ski whistler 1/3rd of the time in lange comp 120s, not really planning on using the zzeus inbounds though, mostly for tours off the duffey, etc. The langes are in a closet in whistler right now so I can't compare them with the zzeus unfortunately.

Didn't notice any rearward flex, although I do only have two days on them. Landed one small huck (5ft?) yesterday in the backseat, in the past my garmonts would have collapsed and I would have slid out, the zzeus had way more support and I was able to ski out of it.

My preliminary assessment is that the zzeus is miles ahead of my frankenrides, but can't really compare them to my alpine boots at the moment.

srsosbso
12-21-2008, 12:05 PM
Not too likely, but is there anyone who has actually SKIED both the factor and the zzeus and could compare them? I gotta pull the trigger here pronto.

kidwoo
12-21-2008, 01:12 PM
Not too likely, but is there anyone who has actually SKIED both the factor and the zzeus and could compare them? I gotta pull the trigger here pronto.

Dude, just buy one. They're both good.:p

You're not going to find too many people who have ENOUGH skiing on each to really compare the two long term. That's just the way it is.


I got some skiing in yesterday and today on my zeuseseses. With intuition liners and cold snow all over them, they're stiff as shit. I actually loosened up my buckles halfway down today.

Hiking (skinning) in them was great. No real noise like when they're warm, a little squeak but nothing unlike every other boot out there. Walk mode is fine, definitely more laterally stiff than my garmont adrenalins. Even packed with snow the walk/ski lever tab thingy worked fine which kind of surprised me.

Pretty stoked on the new toys.

Cheesestoff
12-21-2008, 01:45 PM
alright srsosbo, put two more days in wearing my zzeuses with the stock liners. I'm 5'8" 150lbs. Finally got my 182 VCTs with dynafit comforts mounted. Railed some high speed icey groomers at blackcomb. a million times better than my g-rides with stiff scarpa tornado tongue, had no problem airing roll-overs and ducked into some moguls for a few turns and mashed through those. Lateral stiffness is great, not as stiff forward as my lange comp 120s (obviously). I still prefer my langes for inbounds, but I dont' think it would be a huge struggle to adapt if I was forced to use the zzeus.
yesterday toured for some deep, dry pow near baker, once again, tour stride is pretty close to my old g-rides (good thing). Hit a couple 10 footers and the boot performed great. although I think the liner still needs more moulding around my toes as they were fully numb by the end of the day.

Never considered the factor for two reasons, weight and crap touring stride. I do think this is an issue on shallow approaches, noticed that while skinning up connaught creek at rogers pass last week I was maxing out rearward flex in the zzeus on each stride, this wasn't limiting me, but it would be frustrating if I had to take shorter strides. If you don't have much in the way of flat approaches and aren't planning on ever going somewhere like rogers pass, the factor is probably a great option.

extra info:
dynafits kick ass, ski and tour in another league compared to fristchis, I felt like i had feathers on my feet while skinning
182 VCTs ski really short, not sure if I'm all that stoked on them yet, (I've been touring on 185 sugar daddies and skiing inbounds on 184 squads)

kidwoo
12-21-2008, 01:55 PM
I hate the Boa system, though. Cinching the liner up inside the boot is fake bootfitting: it makes you feel like the boot fits better, but it doesn't keep you from slopping around inside the shell.

Honestly....what's the difference?

The outer volume of the liner decreases but then you just decrease the volume of the boot with the buckles. If that's the way to get a good fit on the liner doesn't that achieve the same thing?

srsosbso
12-21-2008, 03:27 PM
thanks for the update cheese. good info.


Dude, just buy one. They're both good.:p

I know, I know. I even annoy myself when I get like this. (and thanks for your info. too, by the way.)

Part of the reason I've got so tortured about this is that I am not happy with my current alpine boots (I like how they ski but I got sold a shell that's too big and they've packed out and are sloppy now) so I was hoping for the one boot quiver. It'd be easier if I new my current resort boots were money.

I like the construction and quality control better on the zzeus, and the fit is okay if a little tight on the toes. I'm more sold on how the factor feels on my foot both fit and flex-wise, but I'm not sold on the weight or the quality, from what I am hearing. MEC is now sold out on my size as well, thanks to me waffling for so long. Way to shoot myself in the foot! (no pun intended.)

Cheesestoff
12-21-2008, 04:02 PM
i found the zzeus really tight around my toes in the shop, but once i put my old g-fits in they were awesome, and since moulding the stock liners they feel great while skiing, just need to be packed out a bit more for touring. Also the zzeus is PU not pebax, so much easier to punch.

srsosbso
12-21-2008, 05:37 PM
^^^ Worth knowing. Thanks, yet again.

wilcox510
12-21-2008, 07:04 PM
I tried on the Zzeus again today, to me it is much wider or higher volume in the forefoot than the Factor (with my Intuitions in both boots). I have to put the 2nd buckle on the last catch to get them remotely tight on my forefoot. They actually feel pretty good if I go down a size, but then I would need to blow the toe out a bunch. I'm not sure how easy it would be to stretch the toes on them because the stretch would be right where the soles attach to the shells.

srsosbso
12-21-2008, 10:28 PM
Lou Dawson on wildsnow said he had to go a full shellsize bigger in a zzeus vs. a factor. Anyone else find this?

ulty_guy
12-22-2008, 02:28 AM
You can do that, just order shells? Shit. Who knew? Where is this footworks place?


cham, right across the street from the midi station. further update, was in there last night drinking beer (that was my payment from earlier work) and tried to reduce volume further with some plastic thing from head. i've still got too much space on top of my foot, but it's a touch better. tried some fillers from below, but kinda throws off the boot feel.

anyone ever try anything over top of the foot in order to reduce volume? i'm thinking maybe something like custom footbed material?

steved
12-22-2008, 11:11 AM
Scarpas seem larger width wise, but length is the same. I'm the same shell size in a Garmont as a Scarpa, yet to get the fit in the fore foot with the Garmont, I have to go up a shell size, which make it too long and my heel slides around.
Wetdog,
Yeah, it takes some dedicated stretching to get some Garmont toeboxes and 6th toe areas to one's matching...but can be done! *Don't know how this'll effect the lifespan..needed 3-4 heatgun runs...but integrity seems fine..(2nd season).
The toebox was also quite low for my whale toes so had to stretch upward slightly as well...but did get it right....fwiw(So it can be done)..:cool:

STeveD

steved
12-22-2008, 12:31 PM
After going through the sizing / trying on game my size 28 Radiums are ordered and on the way. Almost went for Skookums but I get still get a lot of pain over the instep strap era with the tongue design. So I'll see how the Radiums go. Probably will shim them 0.5-1mm with some binder plastic on the bottom of the shell to increase overall fit and put some foam in to tighten up the heel. The 27.5 was just too damn tight and would have required too much $$$ in bootwork to make it ring.

Not that it matters. PNW is still raining & inversioned.
Khyber,
Just a fwiw...painting PlasticWeld onto the outer side of a heel pocket can work well. Make the layers thin, then you can add a 2nd layer with a little tapering to fit your heel..(ie securing heel more).. Can be dremeled/sanded to fit..and if still needed, you'll at least need very little foam.... Those foam-tipped paintbrushes make it an easy job....
$.01

nexus6
12-22-2008, 01:05 PM
So after much waffling I pulled the trigger on the Zzeus's in a 29.0 last week. The Factor just wasn't the right fit. In the shop the Zzeus just seemed to fit much closer. That said, I have a really weird foot, it's a size 29 foot with a huge big toe that make the total length more like a 30.5. I'm always in a dillema of, buy a 29.0 that's too short and try and push out the length or buy a 30.0 an put in a thick footbed. This time the shop guy convinced me to go with 29.0 even though my alpines are 30.0's. He blew out the toe length a bit and cooked the liners and all seemed well leaving the shop, nice comfy snug fit.

Well first run down the mountain I was in a whole new world of pain. Every time I laid down an edge my toe would get bent and kinked. By two runs the whole front of my foot was numb. Removing the footbeds helped a little, but that's not a good solution either.

Anyway enough about my excruciating fit problem here's my impression on the hill: This boot gets way stiff in the cold, it's unlikely you will overpower in forward flex, don't belive the flex in the shop. Latterly it's pretty good as well, much better than the Zzeros or Denalis I've skied, but still not latterly I beam stiff like my Technica Icon's. The other thing that may prevent this from being a single boot quiver is the lack of mass, a good thing in an AT boot on the way up, but not so good in the resort where a heavy alpine boot will ride through the cut up mank much better. I didn't have a chance to tour with it since it was 9:00 at night, but walking was a real pleasure.

srsosbso
12-26-2008, 04:16 PM
I finally got my foot in a scarpa skookum the other day. This is a great AT boot- light, with a nice overlap-esque flex in a tongue boot. I'd buy it if it fit my foot.

It doesn't fit my foot. A lot of volume over the instep. I mean a LOT of volume. No way I could make this work. But if they fit you, nice offering/option from scarpa.

I tried the zzeus again. Really well made boot, but the fit just wasn't quite right for me, and I disliked the flex "play" through the neutral point.

AND SO... I finally ordered some factors. Not thrilled with the weight, worried about all the failures of buckles and walk-modes I'm hearing about (and I hate the colour, goddamit.) But they fit my foot like a glove, flex like a nice alpine boot. And I am hating my alpine boots these days (packed out, fit like shit) so I wanna ski these everywhere.

So here goes a roll of the dice...

thanks to everybody for their input along the way.

Tony
12-31-2008, 09:18 AM
Thank God, srsosbso!

At some point I thought you were going to miss this winter skiing with so much indecision!

Congratulations on your purchase and enjoy!

srsosbso
12-31-2008, 02:25 PM
I know, unbearable isn't it? I'd hate to be me. Wait... what?

Never one to minimize my suffering, I'm stuck waiting three more weeks to pick up the boots. (Mi esposa will bring them back from her next work foray across the border and save me 80-100 bucks or so in sales tax at customs.) So my penny pinching means I am enduring my ill-fitted salomon guns for now, just to perpetuate the agony in some way.

I'll do a follow-up review on the factors once I ski them, apparently sometime in 2010.

Oh, here's a link to an extensive radium review by another rossland local/ friend of mine.

http://kootenayskier.wordpress.com/2008/12/18/garmont-radium-review/

JoeStrummer
12-31-2008, 02:32 PM
Now, are you sure you want the Factors? Maybe you should try on the Zzeus and Radium again?;)

I have 22 days on the Radiums and they ski great for my needs. As I mentioned somewheres before, this generation of Garmont liners is actually less likeable than previous, to me. I have some heel slop when skinning I can't seem to eliminate but I'm going to work on that later today.

i tried my Megarides again this week, just to see if I could tell a difference. I felt like I was skiing in Chuck Taylors.

srsosbso
12-31-2008, 02:40 PM
are you sure you want the Factors?

Sadly not. I need "I added-to-cart" therapy.

Steve Lavigne
01-01-2009, 03:33 PM
Never one to minimize my suffering, I'm stuck waiting three more weeks to pick up the boots. (Mi esposa will bring them back from her next work foray across the border and save me 80-100 bucks or so in sales tax at customs.) So my penny pinching means I am enduring my ill-fitted salomon guns for now, just to perpetuate the agony in some way.

I hope the guys at the shops that you visited trying on boots tell you to fuck off next time they see you.

srsosbso
01-01-2009, 05:06 PM
Uh... I ordered the boots from the shop where I tried them on. So how be I just tell YOU to fuck off instead, you stupid fucking JONG.

smthgfshy
01-01-2009, 05:18 PM
First off....thanks everyone for the insightful and helpful advise on all the new boot offerings for the year....

After lurking here for the fall, with nothing to add (as I'm in southern Ohio and the closest pair of AT boots is probably 1K miles away)....

I finally pulled the trigger on a pair of Scarpa Skookums. I had only ever tried on Dynafit Zzeros, Scarpa Spirit 3/4 and F1/F3, and some garmonts last year in Jackson (get the fuck outta the boot pack fast lane) Wyoming. Never had an op to try on the BD's. I've skiied on them last night on some Indiana ice and some yellow man made snow that tasted like fish with a pair of Kailas & ST's. These ended up fitting me pretty well. I too notice some extra volume in the instep area and the ankle is not the tightest...but good enough for me. Flex was softer than I thought, but I was skiing them with the touring (black) tongues. Walk mode is great--great ROM, comparable to the Matrix (my last pair of boots). I didn't notice the softness when skiing and felt I had good control on the bulletproof. That could have been cuz the flask was empty at that point..?? Not sure what else...if you have specific Q's PM me. that is all.

Steve Lavigne
01-01-2009, 08:20 PM
Uh... I ordered the boots from the shop where I tried them on. So how be I just tell YOU to fuck off instead, you stupid fucking JONG.

I guess I am a JONG. You said you were ordering them, so I ASSumed that you were ordering from somewhere other than where you had tried them on multiple times. It struck a nerve.

Sorry, I made an incorrect ASSumption.

The information you provided in this thread is valuable, and you certainly made quite a project out of buying boots. Hopefully you don't have any issues with the walk mode pins on your Factors.

srsosbso
01-01-2009, 08:34 PM
Apology accepted.

In fact, I did try them on initially as close to home as they were stocked (nelson, bc, one hour away.) They didn't have my size and either could not or would not (depending on the shop) get them in my size.

So I went to Spokane, Wa, and tried them on in my size at mountain gear. Came home and stressed about it (made it into 'quite a project' as you put it so well.) Finally ordered them from mountain gear.

I agree with you entirely that using a local shop to get fit and then ordering from elsewhere to save pennies would kind of suck. I would have bought local if I could have bought local.

Bean
01-02-2009, 09:36 AM
I threw my intuitions into the Factor, baked and all, and jesus...SO much stiffer, almost too stiff. Felt good except for one of my arches feeling like it was being force-collapsed, even with my custom footbeds. Might need to rebake and change a couple things, but they certainly ski well.

srsosbso
01-02-2009, 10:56 AM
As my friend 'Big Al' would say, "inneresting." Can I ask which intuition you have (tongue or wrap and specific model) and what size liner for what size shell?

thanks

Bean
01-02-2009, 12:02 PM
Power wrap. I'll have to check what size when I get home. It might be a size 12 in a 28.5 shell but I'll let you know later.

Something weird happened during baking. When I took the liners out after cooling, I found that the "footbed" part of the liner had been twisted and rotated outward (on both feet). Thinking that might be the cause of the pain/collapsing. Anyone have thoughts on how to fix it/prevent it from happening on a re-mold? Thinking of taking the liner out of the oven, putting it around my foot, and then stuffing that into the shell, rather than liner into shell, then foot. How many moldings is too many on an intuition?

jasonsalvo
01-02-2009, 05:35 PM
I finally got to ski my new Radiums today (after more than a week of them not being delivered due to snow in the city)....

I skied inbounds at Alpental in some pretty poor conditions - breakable crust, ice chunks, choppy crud. I skied them on my 190 Gotamas w/ Salomon bindings (which they fit in to quite well).

All in all, I'd say they are a pretty awesome boot - for touring. I wouldn't ski them as an everyday inbounds boot because they aren't stiff enough to make me feel confident when really charging. As far as stiffness goes, I'd say they are significantly less stiff than my 100 flex Salomon something or other boots. Nevertheless, they are a huge step up from those silly Megarides.

The Radium is way way stiffer laterally and backwards, though not as stiff flexing forwards as my Megarides, which have the black Scarpa stiff tongue from the Spirit 4. Personally, I don't mind the less stiff forward flex, because it's really all about the other directions as long as you ski pretty balanced. The conditions couldn't have been worse to take a relatively soft boot and ski them on a long somewhat stiff ski, but the boots proved up to the task. I definitely flexed through them a few times, but for most of the day I forgot I was even skiing touring boots.

A few notes on fit: The heel pocket is quite a bit bigger than on the megaride. I put a piece of U-shaped foam on my liner and my heel is locked down ridiculously tight - too tight perhaps. The forefoot is weird. It felt tight all day, and I never really buckled the front two buckles. Even when I did buckle them, it didn't change the way it felt. I'm still trying to figure that one out. One problem, which might have to do with the liner, is that when the buckles are tightened to what seems appropriate, it pinches the top of my shin/calf. I have this same problem with my Megas. What's nice about the Radium, though, is that I just skied with my boots a bit looser than I might have, and they still skied fine. With the Megas loosely buckled, I feel like the boot flexes all over the place whenever my skis encounter bumps.

All in all - I'd say I've finally found a touring boot that skis well. Now I only hope they tour equally as well. I'll find out once the avy conditions become reasonable....

JoeStrummer
01-02-2009, 06:13 PM
A few notes on fit: The heel pocket is quite a bit bigger than on the megaride. I put a piece of U-shaped foam on my liner and my heel is locked down ridiculously tight - too tight perhaps. The forefoot is weird. It felt tight all day, and I never really buckled the front two buckles. Even when I did buckle them, it didn't change the way it felt. I'm still trying to figure that one out. One problem, which might have to do with the liner, is that when the buckles are tightened to what seems appropriate, it pinches the top of my shin/calf. I have this same problem with my Megas. What's nice about the Radium, though, is that I just skied with my boots a bit looser than I might have, and they still skied fine. With the Megas loosely buckled, I feel like the boot flexes all over the place whenever my skis encounter bumps.

All in all - I'd say I've finally found a touring boot that skis well. Now I only hope they tour equally as well. I'll find out once the avy conditions become reasonable....

Funny, I have felt exactly the same opinion on the heel and the lower buckles. Half the time one buckle on both boots is either flopping loose or not tensioned but it still skis fine and when I ratchet it down it doesn't do much for me. I can ski them a bit loose and still have all the control I need.

srsosbso
01-02-2009, 06:25 PM
Nice radium review jason


Power wrap. I'll have to check what size when I get home. It might be a size 12 in a 28.5 shell but I'll let you know later.

Cool. Can you get the mondo size on the powerwrap as well? I'm interested in figuring out how to size intuitions for a 25.5 factor shell.

Bean
01-02-2009, 10:36 PM
I just checked my liner and it's 12.0 for my 28.5 shell. No mondo point labeled. Sorry :(

You might give intuition a call and see what they suggest.

srsosbso
01-03-2009, 10:17 AM
Thanks for that.

According to the BD website, a 28.5= US men's 11.5, so your liner would be technically a half size 'big' for the shell. How have you found that to fit compared to the stock liner? I'm thinking of picking up an intuition for the weight savings just for touring (maybe ski the stock liner at the resort, just to get something out of it?) and wondering what size to look for.

Meathelmet
01-03-2009, 10:32 AM
I just tested and put my old 26 sized (totally worn and packed) old raichel thermoflex liner in my 25size factor and it was ok. A new one would have definately been better but it seems that the stock tongue liners dont work at all with my shins.
There is a huge gap in the front of the tongue and the shell that makes the boot to ski like shite. When engaging the leg,there is a huge delay untill the boot starts to flex.
Have to check out tomorrow how it works but just by a quick test the wrap arounds will be far,far better. Let alone that the liner weights less and is way quicker drying than the stock liners.


I just keep wondering why the hell BD didnt go with wrap around liners in the first place? Obviously I might be in minority but I have never managed to get proper performance out of tongued liners in any boots but the wrap arounds have worked like mint.

:confused:

srsosbso
01-03-2009, 11:08 AM
Interesting.

On an unrelated note, talk to me about that ^^^ signature quote...?

Meathelmet
01-03-2009, 11:18 AM
Interesting.

On an unrelated note, talk to me about that ^^^ signature quote...?


Uuh...
It´s a quote from a great german dadaist,let´s put it that way..

Bean
01-03-2009, 02:46 PM
Thanks for that.

According to the BD website, a 28.5= US men's 11.5, so your liner would be technically a half size 'big' for the shell. How have you found that to fit compared to the stock liner? I'm thinking of picking up an intuition for the weight savings just for touring (maybe ski the stock liner at the resort, just to get something out of it?) and wondering what size to look for.
Well keep in mind variation between different companies. I wear a 13 street shoe most of the time, but sometimes 12. With cycling shoes I have some 46s and 48s. I tried on a garmont 30.0 that crushed my foot and was horribly painful, yet a 28.5 nordica had me swimming. If it's "too big" it doesn't feel like it. Really feels perfect for it. Skiing with it was certainly better than the tongue, as Meathelmet said there's a delay (though I wouldn't call it hudge) between initiation and resistance from the boot.

Wetdog
01-03-2009, 03:55 PM
Well I think I have tried just about everything now and here are my finalists for me. As I already have a beefy boot in the Garmont Endorphin, I am looking for a light weight Dynafit compatible boot for longer dedicated back country forays.

The Method fit me fairly well and I liked it, buckles, boa and all, but it is too heavy. Same for the very tempting Skookum, the boot that fit me best and still tempts me, but is just a bit heavier than what I am looking for. The Spirit 4 oddly fits me nothing like the Skookum, having a different kind of liner, my fore foot swims in it. The finalists are the Radium and the Zzero 4 Carbon and surprisingly the Megaride, with the Skookum kind of in reserve.

I have some fit issues with the Radium feeling a bit loose in the heel and a bit tight in the toe, although I have been assured that the toe squeeze goes away with heat molding, I am more concerned with the bit of heel lift I get only with the buckles undone and in full tour mode, not with the buckles loosely done up or tightly in ski mode. I find this boot the most tempting from a quality and technology pov. It has just the right amount of stiffness for skiing, but seems a bit stiff in walk mode. The Megaride fits me better out of the box, and I think it would still tour better, but I am reluctant because the biggest complaint with it seems to be stiffness or lack there of. The Zzero 4 carbon has stiffness in spades, fits my forefoot better out of the box and is the lightest of the bunch. My concerns are some chaffing/digging from the side of the tongues which would probably disappear with break in and the buckles which seem a little flimsy. Also the walk/ski mode lever is a bit hard to adjust at times. It has the shortest boot sole length of all of them and would mean having to adjust my freerides all the time if I wanted to use it with my other skis.

I am coupling which ever boot I get with Dyanfit St and Dynafit Manaslu skis, so I wanted to keep the overall weight down with a light boot as well, though with so much weight saved with skis and bindings my thoughts are that a boot like the Skookum would be an acceptable weight compromise, but it does overlap a fair amount performance wise with my Endorphines.

Any thoughts from anyone who now has some days on any of these boots beyond what you have already written in respect to the comparison of them would be appreciated. At some point one has to make a decision, but having made some regretable ones in the past when it comes to boots especially has me feeling particularily wary. Thanks for all of your observations so far.

As an aside, I tried the Factors for fun, even though I was not in the market, and think they would make a fantastic crossover boot, as would the Typhoon, from Scarpa. I was also very impressed with the quality of the Zuess, but it didn't really fit my foot all that well. I have recently been skiing my Endorphins more and more with the alpine soles and foregoing my tight fitting, cold and uncomfortable alpine boots. The new breed of boots makes that swap over even more easy.

jasonsalvo
01-03-2009, 05:58 PM
Wetdog - all ski shops have these big U-shaped foam pads designed to decrease volume behind the achilles heel area and around the ankles. After I molded my liners, my heel was swimming in the Radium. Once I added the u-shaped pad, my heel was totally locked in. If you aren't swimming, but just loose, try the L-shaped pads that go behind your ankles and down the achilles - a less severe fix and super easy. Both are foam with glue on the backside, so they go on in seconds. Nothing to worry about in that department. Likewise, when you mold your liners (whatever boot you choose) make sure you put toe caps on in your socks. It enlarges the space in the toe box, making your feet much warmer and more comfortable.

Wetdog
01-04-2009, 03:11 PM
Jansonsalvo, thanks for the in put. I feel a little bit better about pulling the pin on the Radiums hearing your story because that is the boot that I really want to make work for me. The out of box fit on them seems for many on this site to be not as good as many of the other boots. It is encouraging to hear that you made them work given the same fit I am experiencing. I guess the line just really fits tight in the toe before heat molding. They fit well enough, and given your account, that I am willing to give em a try. In every other way they seem to be leaps and bounds ahead of the other choices.

cowdog
01-04-2009, 06:53 PM
I did the same which new AT boot routine like a lot of skiers. I tried on everything and demoed what I could. I ended up with the Radiums.

My last 2 AT boots were Scarpas (Denali TT and Spirit3). All the latest Scarpa AT boots fit my foot well, but I have not liked the skiing feel with the stiff tongues. Also the Scarpa forward lean feels too upright. I was enamored with the BD AT boots but they kill my wide, high arch feet. The problem for me is where the overlap hits the top of my foot.

So, Radiums. Beautiful boots. Radiums ski darn well with a nice progressive flex and are very light, but most importantly fit my feet. Walk mode is stiff but boot packing and then hiking I found they were fine with a little buckle loosening. I'll be skiing them in-bounds/hiking/frontcountry with Freerides and Dukes and touring with dynafits. On balance, they seem to have solid enough skiing performance for my needs, although this will be the first time I will emphasize AT boots for in-bounds skiing (long-time tele skier who has been using AT for backcountry). If there is a more burly AT boot for me, it will have to be from the future.

Meathelmet
01-05-2009, 12:55 AM
So,skied with the raichles now.

Way much better than the originals.
Damn,buy a expensive boot and replace the liner with a 3yr old one worn out one and it skis way better...

Now it is just to replace the stock strap with a flexible powerstrap and I think I should be sorted by then.

Lets see : new liners,new straps,gas pedals,thicker shims for the back of the boot and shims for the front of the liner..

jasonsalvo
01-05-2009, 11:08 AM
Toured yesterday for the first time on the Radium. Long story short, I had zero issues making 4 laps on Heather Ridge near Stevens Pass. They toured better than my megarides because they don't have the unflexible black Scarpa tongue limiting the amount of backwards flex during a long forward stride. Otherwise, I didn't notice them touring much differently. Again, they skied great - although in 12-18" of semi-consolidated northwest powder, I think you could ski in tennis shoes.

pechelman
01-05-2009, 11:26 AM
bump because i sent my Zzero4's in for the toe crack warranty and have been using the axons since then (before xmas)
(stole this from an email i sent to a friend and edited it, so if it reads weird you know why)

so now i have a good ~10 days or so on the axons (50/50 resort/bc)
i really didnt count, but it gives you an idea of how much time i have in them
50/50 days in naxos/dynafits

those axons are OK boots, imho
i dont like them for touring as the cuff comes too high imo
makes my right hip flexor hurt (i think my right leg is the longer of the two) - (never have had hip flexor pain in my zzeros)
walk mode is OK with a bit of rear compliance and good amount of forward. not as good as the zzeros but better than something like the zzues (in my store testing) or my old freeride aeros.
ski mode is a little stiff in some nastier snows but is fine for straight pow and great for hardpack resort conditions
the more upright of the two ski modes i think might be too upright or the boot just to stiff for my tastes as i constantly was fighting to get out of the backseat on skis i know very well and never had any trouble with in my freeride aeros or zzeros....perhaps its just the big jump in stiffness making the momentary balance changes more pronounced? i dont know, ymmv.

theyre heavy which is bad for obvious reasons and good for bashing through stuff.
really, this is the boot for people who want vibram and walk mode on their lange 120s\xwave 80+s\etc
ie not me
having skied in xwave8s a ton (flex of 90 according to solly), I would rate the axons around a 75-80 with excellent lateral stiffness. I no longer ski in my xwaves unless i break out the race sticks for one of those days.

also, the tounge has that cambered shape where its radius of curvature was smaller than that of the boot so you had to crank the buckles one more notch than would have been necessary had they matched. the boot plastic seemed thick\heavy enough though so that you didnt create two\one hotspots where the buckles were
i might have actually liked how the tounge applied a downward pressure due to this difference in shape
I mention this because ive heard mention about other garmont boots having this same feature and then causing hot spots on some of the lighter boots, especially when using mod'ed tounges or something

really really really want my zzeros back

~V~
01-06-2009, 03:49 PM
BTW, for those chicks that are looking for AT boots, after trying pretty much EVERYTHING in the market on (both men's & women's AT) and taking at least 4 of them out on the hill, I absolutely LOVE the Black Diamond Shivas. I say this with the disclaimer that I have a very odd foot (extremely wide toe width - think large bunion, and narrow heels) and therefore the fit may not be for everyone, but a super snug and yet does not result in all out PAIN. Skied them right out of the box and really will need NO modifications which is still shocking to me. I attribute a lot of the success to the tapered heel liner (think an actual crease right around the achilles) which is one reason I would not switch out the liner. My heel does NOT move within the boot and my toes lightly press against the end all day without being scrunched. I'm typically an 8.5 in street shoes which translates to a 24.5, however the 25 fit perfect reiterating the "BD's run small" comment. I didn't even have to unbuckle the boot in between runs (I'm currently only using the largest settings on most buckles), and my only discomfort was in my toenails after a day of touring - most likely a sign that my toenails needed trimming :-p. The walk mode is unbelievable (almost 45 degrees of movement and you can pretty much stand up straight) and I didn't find the weight to be an issue, although if you prefer an ultralight setup you may be dissatisfied. I'm crossing my fingers that there's no first-year snafus (other than the wearing out of my patience in waiting to obtaining a pair in my size), and will definitely report back if my new found love turns sour or hits some bumps along the road.

Wetdog
01-19-2009, 11:30 PM
Decided to go with Radiums, even though they weren't a perfect fit. It came down to them and the Dynafit ZZero 4 Carbon. I liked the fit of the Dynafit a bit better, but the ergonomics and flex of the Garmont boot better even though the boot fitter who was helping me discouraged me from getting them. I went down to intuition and had a Freeride liner molded for them, which also fit my Endorphins and many of the fit problems were solved. Fantastic liner, and the TGR group buy discount is still in effect.

srsosbso
01-27-2009, 06:58 PM
Well, having finally chosen and ordered boots (the Factors) I got out on them on the weekend, two half days at the resort, one day touring on my ghetto touring rig (dynafits are en route to be mounted on wailer 95's.)

Very impressed with how these ski. They actually ski better than my previous boots, which were Salomon Guns. To be fair, I think I was sized poorly on the guns, and the Factors ski well in part because they fit me so well. On the other hand, I was able to push the size down because the last suits my foot so closely. They are stiff enough for our current bullet-proof conditions, and flex like and alpine boot. I do wish the shell height was half an inch or so higher, but all in all, very happy with the shell.

I'm not so jacked on the liners. I wish the tongue was higher by a good inch or even two, because it comes just past the shell and I get a little shin bang. I also had a pressure point over the high instep that turned out to be caused by a pointless elastic band over the tongue that I cut out and instantly fixed that problem.

The Boa thing is just stupid, no two ways about it. It takes way too long to tighten up, and achieves nothing once the shell is buckled. If anyone from BD is listening in here, change the crank ratio so the thing tightens up in just a couple of turns. I will likely cut the BOA thing out if I keep these liners.

The tongue gets caught outside of the shell when I pull my boot out 90% of the time, and is a knuckle cruncher to get back in.

The boot tours very well. I toured with the cuff fully buckled, on the extended 'touring' setting on the top buckle but fully done up on the second buckle because they fit me tight and I need my foot pulled back into the heel pocket so my toes aren't crunched. Even like that they toured comfortably. I didn't notice the lack of rearward motion, but we didn't do anything flat.

I think I'll look into intuition liners. Can anyone tell me what size and thickness/model to go for if my BD size is 25.5 which BD says is a US 8 or 7.5? Tongue or overlap if I'm going to tour in the intuitions?

ulty_guy
04-06-2009, 02:21 AM
ok, back to the future here. i've still be doing battle with my radiums and while the fit still leaves something to be desired for me (could be narrower) i can live with that. what i can't live with is the 24 degree forward lean. they used to have a 2 position one that had a 19 option too which would be perfect for me. i went into a couple of places in cham to see if they'd drill the bit in the back for a more upright stance, but 2 of them said the tried it and screwed up the piece. dunno what to do, anyone successfully drilled another hole back there?